What's For The Birds


julian_icon.gif thompson_icon.gif

Scene Title What's For The Birds
Synopsis With a few well-placed lies, Thompson's search for the needle in the haystack narrows even more.
Date July 12, 2009

Staten Island — Catholic Church of St. Pius X

Just like any part of Staten Island, there's a used and abused quality to this building. Locks long since broken, Thompson has no trouble with laying his hand on the wooden doors and pushing them open with the most appropriate of creaks. For a moment, the silver haired Company agent only stands silhouetted at the open entrance, moonlight and distance city illumination cutting out his figure in contrast to the deeper shadows of the churches dusty interior.

He takes out a flashlight, scopes its singular eye around the interior, before stepping inside. An old and abandoned Catholic church, a dramatic setting in many ways, and the flagging methods of a sinner whose heart still lies in faith. Thompson can understand— he used to be Catholic too.

Which isn't to say he's impressed. He calls out, blandly, "Mr. Kuhr?"

"Up here."

He swivels around, looks up along with his flashlight, which sweeps off the pale, scarred face off Julian. The choir pit sits directly above the doors, and the younger man leans over it, arms folded. "Come on up, the view's lovely," the Irishman invites, somewhat droll, before disappearing from sight. Thompson wants to enter the building, walk up its steps, allow it to devour him in cracked hallways and echoes about as much as he wants to take a vacation - which is to say, not in the least - but follows along anyway. It's nice for the other person when they think they're in control.

The choir pit was empty upon arrival, but further stairs that spiral takes him readily up towards the balcony that rings the steeple. Thompson switches off his flashlight, lets it spin on the strap around his wrist before removing it like a gentleman removes his gloves, tucks it into his pocket. Pale eyes take in the sight of Julian sitting upon the creaking metal railing, a dangerous kind of move if not due to his own skill but the integrity of the structure. Thompson doesn't say anything; he imagines its for affectation. Whose he to call the younger man on it?

He's not alone, however, and Thompson stops short to regard the company Julian is keeping. Pigeons dot the balcony in a purring mass of feathery congregation, swarming around like he imagines insects to. There's a crumpled plastic bread bag in the Irishman's hand, the other of which dips inside, extracts a handful of crumbs, and flings them into the masses. They all shift around, flutter, rearrange themselves to peck at what's given.

More interesting, maybe, is the raven perched on the Irishman's arm shoulder clad in the brown fabric of a worn sweater. A long beak clicks together once, but no sound, just watchful beady eyes of black angled to view the agent. "Y'got money on you?" Julian asks, cutting to the chase.The dent of a scar making a rivet right up to his ear, pulls at his mouth, a more permanent smirk than Thompson's if less intended.

He's not sickly, though. The infamous illness of his ability long since shed.

"I do. You look well."

As if in response, the pigeons all take off as one, a brief wind current that only has Thompson turning his head away with a faint look of disdain. The mass of wing beating passes, leaving only the raven behind on Julian's shoulder, who seems not at all interested in the crumbs left behind.

"I'm not sayin' anything 'til I get somethin' for it. She's my sister."

"And I'm sure you love her very much," Thompson says, but gives Julian no chance to argue or defend or whatever human emotional reaction he might have in the face of sarcasm by dipping into his pocket and extracting an envelope. "You'll get more when we find her."

The raven launches off Julian's shoulder, a flap against the wind as the black shape cuts through air and sours away, the current bird-whisperer batting not an eye as he hops off the railing, moves on over, steals away the envelope to open it, inspect. Thompson stands patient, and watches the Evolved as if, perhaps, he existed not in a human body upon a balcony but broken down into microscopic parts and thriving in a Petri dish.

"A'ight," Julian says, satisfied, apparently, if grudgingly so, and the money is shoved into a pocket. "She moves around a lot, so I dunno how good this will be to you."

"Names? Faces?"


"Then I'm sure we can manage," Thompson says, his permanent smirk deepening almost into a smile, and watches as Julian extracts a file from beneath his hoodie, ink stained with fingerprints and tattered at the edges. It's passed over, opened. Deceptively neat handwriting. Sketches, addresses, names and when names aren't available, descriptions. "This will serve us fine. Thank you, for your cooperation." He glances up and tries to read the pale features of the former degenerator, offers another crocodile smile. "And I can assure you that Delphine will be in safe hands once we find her. I'm sure she's scared right now, but we're doing all we can to make sure she has the protection she deserves."

An adolescent shrug is what Thompson's attempt gets by way of response, and a hint of a wry smile. Julian turns his back on the other man the next moment, leans his hands against the railing.

"'s for the birds. Have a good night, Mr. Thompson."

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