What You're Looking For


emerson_icon.gif leon_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title What You're Looking For
Synopsis Four strangers talk of hope and trust over drinks.
Date Aoril 17, 2011

The Stop

An older building houses this bar/hotel mix, and upon entering the first things one notices is that the atmosphere isn't what would normally be expected. Entering pushing open a thick metal door, an almost fine establishment feeling starts to overcome the senses with a light cherry colored oak floor, and soft amber colored walls. A large mahogany bar rests in the left corner, with many different types of liquior resting upon its shelves. Towards the right corner of the bar sit a couple of pinball machines, a dart game, and a SNK 10-in-1 cabinet that seems ready for its daily quarter harvest. A few booths line the left wall, and decently spaced tables with four chairs apiece come out towards the center of the establishment. On the right sits two large pool tables, with racks of varying sized cues lining them. Directly across from the door sits a rounded staircase leading to the upper level.

It has been most of a month since Ziadie last actually went out for a drink, but early evening finds the former NYPD officer sitting at the bar of The Stop, cane laid on the floor underneath the counter. There was a short period of time there that he was even entirely sober, but that hasn't lasted after Ivanov went on the run. Worry for the boy, the man, as Ziadie needs to correct himself, because the young detective is a man now, drives the older to drink a little. A crossword puzzle sits under the edge of the cup of beer, and every so often, when the television turns to the news from the various sports games, the old black man looks up. More interested, almost animated despite that he has not yet interacted with anyone else at the bar. Alive.

But at some level, it's just a front, a cover for the alertness that has so far been a constant part of Ziadie's posture, wariness almost. Since his roommate left, Ziadie's been feeling rather out of place, extraneous and useless as is sometimes wont to come with having lived as long as he has. And although the lie detector has not yet drunk to extreme, he's definitely come out with the intention of once more turning to drown his sorrows. At least, a little bit. When the latest of the news reports stops, though, the beer is picked up, sipped, and then he picks up his pen, filling in the line of the crossword. I still do but I used to too.

Not too far away from Ziadie a much younger man is seated. Leon is sipping a gin and tonic while he studies the surrounding people, his mind not focused on his drink, but rather on the recent news he heard. Damn bigots. It reminds him of that day, almost a year ago. That horrid day when his Maria was brutally murdered in front of his own eyes.

Another sip from the man in his late twenties as he picks up the glass, and downs the remainder in one long gulp. He's done it before, it's never pleasant, but the unpleasant feeling sometimes drowns out other unpleasant feelings. Not today. Today it's not enough, and Leon lets out a soft sigh.

After a brief moment of silent reflection, Leon turns around, and looks at the darker man next to him. "Good evening." He greets, if booze can't keep his mind off of things, perhaps talking will. "I haven't seen you around this place for a while. I almost thought you'd stopped drinking." He chuckles, the latter comment was meant as a joke. "I am Leon, by the way. If you hadn't picked that up yet." The gambler flips a coin up in the air, catches it and slaps it onto his hand, "You're lucky. Your next drink is on me."

Nadira's been to The Stop before. She doesn't always go in, personal reasons, but personal reasons are always why she comes back. She knows the owner and she always holds on to the hope that he just might be around. Old habits. Well, and she did technically work there for a while. Making her way in, the Egyptian woman moves to the bar, flagging the bartender down to order a strawberry daquiri—virgin. Her gaze shifts around the bar, letting a long slow breath be released. Who knows how long she's been holding that in.

More often than not, Hannah Emerson is rather glad that she doesn't have to actually wear her Horizon armour twenty-four seven. Time to get off base and have to herself is a bit of a rare commodity these days, with the still lingering scandal and adjustments happening through FRONTLINE and the Textile factory. Really, she probably shouldn't even be out drinking, in case something comes up and she's needed to night, or someone decides to pick tonight make some decisions around there.


Bars are her favourite places to frequent once the sun starts going down, even if that's getting later and later in the day now. It'd be hard to tell she even works for FRONTLINE, with how she's dressed in a simple white, longsleeved t-shirt and a pair of worn looking jeans, a heavy looking leath jacket still square on her shoulders as she sits, a drink in hand. Watching the folks who come and get drunk is always amusing, particularly since it takes so long for Hannah herself to reach that state. Hearing the offer of the free drink, she tips her head in that direction, smirking. "I'd be quieter about that unless you want the whole bar asking."

"Evenin'." The offer of a free drink brings a genial smile to the older man's face. "Life happened," Ziadie offers, as an explanation for his absence. It's not even a lie, at this point, and he hasn't had alcohol enough that his ability is giving him personal trouble, yet. The period of time sober did help a lot with bringing it, and the headache that had been perpetual and constant before, under control. There's another genial smile for Nadira, out of nothing but choosing to interact, and then Nocturne turns to Emerson.

There is a sneaking hint of recognition.

Ziadie takes another sip from the beer in front of him. The years of working the street as a police officer pay off now, as he remembers that she was, in fact, one of the FRONTLINE people present at the incident of the mall, and there's a nod of acknowledgement and greeting, before he puts the beer down, perhaps three quarters empty. He pulls the leather jacket a little closer around his shoulders, although it no longer closes, and smiles. He's looking a lot more like someone living happily in retirement, these days, than someone who had recently been living in Central Park. Three months of a roof over one's head does a great deal. "I ain' gon' turn down a free drink, though," he says. "Not by any means."

When Emerson comes with that comment, Leon offers a congenial smile. "Oh, they can ask, but I don't give free drinks to everyone. I'm unfair that way." He chuckles again as the coin comes out again, "Heads or tails, ma'am?" It's a friendly enough question, and it's not unreasonable to guess that if she guesses right that she'll get a free drink, because that's what Leon is planning, and he makes no effort to hide it.

Turning back to Ziadie, Leon smiles at the elder man, "Well, if you're going to accept the free drink, go ahead and order it. Tab is on me, since I believe I offered the free drink." His eyes twinkle a little, and he pauses as he seems to consider his next move. If you can call it a move, "Anyway, I don't seem to be privy to your names." He looks at both Emerson and Ziadie, one in turn, as he says this. "Mine is, as I just said, Leon. I always think its easier talking when you have names you can hang on to, don't you agreed?"

He flips the coin up in the air, and catches it, not looking at it before he flips it up again. This goes on for a while. "So what kind of life happened, if you don't mind me prying, mister?" Leon asks, he's curious, even if his facial expression doesn't show it, his question sort of does. "I hope it's nothing too bad?" He smiles congenially, "After all, life sucks these days, but I like to believe there's still some hope."

"I think I would prefer some safety to some hope, these days," Nadira comments, peering over as she sips from the straw of her virgin daiquiri. "You can hope all you want, but that does not mean anything is better. Hope will not do you a lot of good save for making you feel a little better when you are at your lowest. You would be better off finding something a little better to cling to, or perhaps to forge your own way."

A coin flip? How random. Still, Hannah grins, leaning up a bt in her seat as sh turns to indulge him. Beer set aside, she peers for a moment. "Tails." No explanation to the choice given. None to give, really, she just picked whichever one seemed right. She gives a nod to Ziadie, even though she doesn't recognise him. One to Leon as well.

It's Nadira, though, that gets her attention best, eyes locking on her for a moment as they narrow. "Hope is a starting point. Hope is what drives people to action. I wouldn't knock something that inspires people to do better." She shrugs a bit, reaching back for her drink. "It's nothing on it's own, no, but it's what gets motivation going."

"Ziadie." The name is given when requested, without much hesitation. Much. There's still a long moment, there, leftover habit from time spent homeless, nearly homeless, where a name wasn't something that the older man particularly actually wanted to give. Or something that he wanted to remember, even if now, that is not the case. Habit dies hard, really. No I take that back is carefully penned into the crossword before he orders his drink, another of the dark Imperial lager that he has in front of him.
Then, there's the conversation of hope, and he looks down at his crossword puzzle, penning in several more answers. "Work, more than not," he finally offers, in response to the question about life. "Didn't end up working out, but then I had a while where I needed to be sorting out things. It's good, for the most part." There's a distinct amusement to his words. "I have a roof over my head, and food at night, even if th' kid," and that's how he generally refers to Ivanov, most of the time, "went off to do what his conscience dictates he needs to."

As Emerson says tails, the coin is caught once more, and placed on Leon's hand. As he pulls back his other hand, the side shown is tails. "Well, it seems you are lucky as well, ma'am. As it seems like I'll put one of your drinks on my tab as well." Another congenial smile is granted as Leon speaks, his mind still somewhat near the news he heard. Near his memories of his Maria, his fiancee — until she was murdered. He sighs, barely noticably, but still, he sighs.

His gaze turns to Nadira on the subject of hope. "Hope itself is like gravity, it doesn't do a lot. Not while you're on the ground. But if you reach out and jump, gravity is what prevents you from getting into the dark of space, even if you fail to reach your target." He smiles as he throws up a coin just high enough to barely miss the ceiling, catching it with his other hand. "Likewise, hope prevents you from falling into the depths of depression, even if you don't succeed. If you cling to that hope as you try to change things, you will be happier for it, I know I am."

Leon shrugs slightly, and turns back to face Ziadie and Emerson. "Nice to meet you, Ziadie. Though I'll admit it's not a name I've heard a lot." A glance from Leon towards Emerson follows along with a question, "My apologies, but I didn't think I quite caught your name?"

The Egyptian woman looks back at her glass. "I am sorry, I didn't mean to get us all started on some philosophical debate. I was merely trying to say that I would prefer something concrete to make me feel like life is going fine," Nadira explains, finger pressing lightly against her temple.

A laugh is what Emerson gives Leon, shaking her head. "I appreciate it, but there's no need. I may good enough pay, for now."She gives a bit of a dismissive wave as she steps up. "Hannah, Leon. Hannah Emerson." That's more likely to give her away than her face, thanks to post FRONTLINE news reports. BUt she's not standing to leave, she's standing to move over towards Nadira. "I don't blame you for wanting something more concrete," she remarks, beer in er moving hand as she moves closer to the group. "Particularly in these times. But I believe something more concrete is something we can only make ourselves. Or help to make. You're right, you can't sit around and hope for things to change. But you can use it to motivate yourself to make things change. Hope and a desire to make thigns change, to make them better than curfew, patrols, martial law, and needing to swipe a card to use a cab are why I do what I do, at least."

"I thought so," is murmured by Ziadie. He did recognise her correctly, but he's not about to even mention his own connection to some of the people involved in the recent scandals, at least, not for the moment. There's a bit of a laugh, afterward, as he finishes off the first glass of beer in front of him. "Pleased as well," he says, still genial.

"The kid did tell me I have a penchant for being philosophical about things," he adds, perhaps simply deciding in the current company that he doesn't care whether or not he names people by name, "and Liz too, but honestly, these days, I try not to focus on the bigger picture too much. It's the small things. Having a roof over my head. I am too old to be out there and following my conscience to do what is right. It is about living, now, and doing what is right when I still can. Though it is good to see that young people still have direction with things." There's another pause from Ziadie. "The small things, the material things that provide security, those can be building blocks for hope."

"And I didn't mean to drag you into a debate you didn't want, my apologies." Leon offers to Nadira. He smiles congenially, "I do understand that you desire something more than hope, but that's where hard works comes in." He orders another gin and tonic, and as he waits for it to arrive, he turns to Emerson, "Hannah Emerson.. that name rings a bell.." He needs a few moments to recall why the name rings a bell, but then he does, "FRONTLINE?"

"I definitely agree that for some people doing what is right is harder than for others." A thoughtfull pause as Leon considers what to say next, carefully weighing his words. "And to some, it's almost as though doing what's right is an outright impossibility. It's a sad, sad thing." Leon's drink arrives, and he takes a long, slow sip from it. In the end, it's not taking too much out of the glass.

"I like to take chances, though. I've been playing poker for about half my life now, and I've been doing other gambling since I was old enough to do that legally." He smiles as he gets out his coin again, "This coin here? It's my lucky coin. I trust it, and all its randomness, more than I do many people. Sad though, that I can't trust some people as easily."

Nadira groans, just slightly, glancing at her drink for a long moment. "Sometimes the little details are not enough. It is not enough to just live day to day, paycheck to paycheck, wondering if things will get better in the end. Sure, you must live, but it does not mean that you merely look at your feet instead of the full road in front of you. Having a roof over my head does not mean I am safe." She offers Leon a small nod. "There's only so much work one can do, though. And I do not blame you for not trusting people. People have to earn that right."

Emerson eyes Nadira for a moment, taking a seat down beside her. Before she acknolwedges her, though, she lookg over to Leon and nods. "FRONTLINE, yes," she answers with a bit of hesitation. That doesn't always sit well with people, and given the recent scandal, well, she would understand if someone wanted to excuse themselves from teh conversation. Might be a little eyecatching, but she is in no spot - nor does she have and desire - to do anything about it at the moment.

"We can drop it if you prefer. I came here tonight myself just to relax and get away from everything. Perhaps find someone to stare at all night. But you're right, it's not enough to live day to day. That's why you hope for something better, and you that hope to look ahead and move forward towards a future where you don't have to. That's what I believe, and that's what everyone on my team believes in, despite what some people may think." Even Liz, despite her no longer being a part.

Rather than continue on the philosophical thread of conversation, Ziadie picks up the second drink that has since arrived, and offers Emerson a rather grateful smile, for her social good graces that are so far proving at least moderately better than his. The glass is raised ever so slightly before he takes a sip, head tilted to one side. "Some people also thought the earth was flat," comes the wry remark a moment later, predominantly directed at Emerson. "I lived with Ivanov, if he's off following his conscience, it's the right thing and I know better than to listen to what some people say." Not that the knowledge will do anything to stop the old man from temporarily drowning his worries with alcohol.

"Well, it was nice to have a chat with you all, but I have some things to do before curfew kicks in. Better get around to those." Leon gets up, flipping his coin once more before pocketing it. "Perhaps we shall meet again, only time will tell." He gets his wallet from inside his jacket, and pay the bartender. "I do hope life will treat you all well." And with that said, Leon departs the bar. He doesn't linger, he doesn't hesitate, he has things to do.

Sipping her drink, Nadira reaches a hand to the back of her neck to rub a stiff spot there. Her eyes, however, linger on Emerson. "FRONTLINE, yeah? Bet that's an interesting and difficult job. Do you like it? You said you want to make a change… you really feel like you can help the situation, given all of what's going on?"

A look over to Ziadie at the mention of Felix. She watches him for a moment. Carefully. "Off the record," she starts, looking around cautiously, "if you speak to him, tell him that he and Harrison are missed." That she's glad they're following their consciences goes unsaid. She has to be careful what she does say, and that might have been pushing it to begin with. With that, she turns back to Nadira. "I think we have more potential than most people believe. I know what some people think of FRONTLINE. But the fact is that we're there to keep everyone safe, regardless of who they are, and I know that’s what I and the rest of the team strive to do." She looks down at her drink, taking a sip. "We have a better chance than some of the others out there. The Ferrymen, I understand why they do what they do. But their methods are…." She grimaces. Bad isn't a good description but the best one she can muster. "And certainly better than groups like Messiah or the Guardians. All they really do is make it harder for everyone, Evolved or not. They make it harder for us to make things better. It's a shame. I'm sure they're trying to do good, but in the long run, it doesn't help."

Ziadie looks back over to Emerson. "It's unlikely," he says, voice gentle, sad. "I may, in months, perhaps, but right now…" he shakes his head and offers her a smile, although it too is sad, wistful. "You're much, much more likely than I am. I miss him too." There's a smile as he picks up his drink again. "It's a little known fact, but some lie detectors can't lie." Then, his comments return to the more general direction of conversation. "It's the same oaths, to protect, first and foremost," Ziadie muses.

"If the government made people feel safe.. there would not be groups like those you mentioned. How does anyone know who they can trust these days?" Nadira sighs, softly. "I do not like being made to feel like I am helpless. That is the last thing that I want, but how does one know where to put trust?"

"Then some lie detectors should be careful who they socialise with," is a careful chiding from Emerson. "And with what they learn from their friends." She doesn't mean to sound judgmental or angry. A word of warning, if nothing else. But with that, she turns to Nadira, eyes narrowed. "I don't disagree with you. I can tell you myself I'm not exactly happy with many developments since I join the squad. But change starts small. We can make a difference. I am confident in this." Trust is a harder subject. "Trust… sometimes you just know. There's people I trust implicitly. A had a recent CO like that."

There is a careful, quiet nod from Ziadie as he picks up his drink. Then he looks down at the crossword puzzle again. So that's how it comes out goes the scratch of then pen. "Like I said, more likely you than I." There's a soft Harlem accent to his voice and the pacing of his words. "I don' know anything, just that I wish more these days the two of them had had a better way to follow their conscience than something they needed to go off an' disappear. No' that there was a better way, but a man can wish." He purses his lips, thinking to himself with another sip of the beer, which he's determined is going to be his last one for the evening. "I'm not sure. I trust based on whether people have been truthful with me, but beyond that, it is an uncertain thing." And by the tone of voice, Ziadie's well aware that his method of choosing where to put trust only actually helps for someone with an ability such as his.

"I guess I can see what you mean," Nadira murmurs, sipping through her straw as she looks back to Emerson. "I guess I'm just looking for something that I'm not sure where I'll find. Nothing I can do about that, I'm afraid. I just have to keep looking."

"A friend of mind told me recently," Emerson starts quietly, peering between the two of them, "that you should follow your conscience. Do what you think is right, you'll find what you're looking for. Hopefully, it's something that helps." A pause, and she looks between them. "You folks don't strike me as the kind who wouldn't, though."

Once more, Ziadie nods, glancing between both Emerson and Nadira, and then once again, he shrugs. "It's good advice, really," he offers, folding the crossword puzzle and tucking it into his jacket, pen into a different pocket. Then he's pulled out a cigarette, downed the last of the beer, and with a nod, makes for the door out, looking back to the two women one more time before he gets more than a few steps away. "Take care." And then, specifically addressed to Emerson. "And be careful."

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