You Still Want In? It's All Hands On Deck


cardinal_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif leonard_icon.gif mack_icon.gif

Scene Title You Still Want In? It's All Hands On Deck
Synopsis Mack gets his last chance to walk away, and there are maybe others interested too.
Date Sep 28, 2009

Old Lucy's

The evening's just begun to get into swing, which means the place is incredibly loud at the moment. The crowd's talking and chattering, there's roars of approval and laughter from the bar as one of the bartendresses stalks along its length swaying her hips to carry a beer bottle down to someone, and a good time's being had by all.

Off to a corner, Cardinal's settled back in a chair, going through a file folder with an empty glass sitting beside him.

Elisabeth's the one who made the phone call. And she's actually standing at the bar enjoying the show, laughing with one of the bartenders about something. She's watching the door, though, waiting for a particular face to come through it. When it does, she'll bid the bartender farewell and head toward the door to cut Mack off and herd him toward the table. "Hey, handsome," she offers. "Long time, no hear from."

"Well, ya know. Hard to keep up with old friends with my busy schedule." Mack's got a look going for him, here. Unzipped hoodie and a few days stubble with a faint scent of beer for cologne. Its not traditional, but classy. Coach class, maybe, but class nonetheless. Following his retort to Liz's initial comment he falls silent and lets his actions mimic his words, allowing himself to be herded.

At the approach of the pair, Cardinal lets an easy smile curve to his lips, the folder snapped closed and tossed lightly off to one side on the table. "Liz," he calls in greeting over the noise, "Mack." A hand lifts, circling the air once, touching his ear and then drawing a line across his throat in wordless signal to the female of the pair. Kill the noise, in other words.

Elisabeth doesn't need to be told that much, she merely offers a smile as she slides into the chair and does exactly that. Private conversation in the middle of a crowded bar works out really well. The bartender she was talking to earlier brings over a pitcher and couple extra glasses, and she leaves quickly. "Well… I gather you guys have met at least once already."

Mack grabs a chair of his own before going all the Fonz and flipping it around to straddle its backside. Letting his arms rest across the top of said chair, he lets his weight fall onto his arms as he regards the pair. "A time or two. Turns out we appreciate some of the same things in our watering holes."

"That they're mostly populated by people actively wanted by the law?" A hint of amusement threads through Cardinal's lips, and he picks up his empty glass, regarding it dubiously; a tilt to one side, then the other, frowning at the transparent material as melting ice clatters at the bottom. He sets it back down, and leans back, "So what've you been up to lately, aside from cheerful debauchery, Mack?"

Snickering softly, Elisabeth just shakes her head and pours herself a beer. Anyone else who wants on can pour their own. As she sips from the glass, she glances around the bar. Her back is to the wall deliberately, so she can see anyone that comes into the place. Her eyes slip to Mack and she seems amused with the small talk.

"You mean there's more to life than cheerful debauchery?" Mack was instantly coralled by Liz the Border Collie the moment he walked in. Therefore lacking the luxury of purchasing liqour on his way in, he pours himself a glass of whatever brew Elisabeth provided. Not gonna see him turn away free booze. "Bullshit aside, I've just been layin' low. Sniffing the wind, ear to the ground; that is to say, wasting time."

The pitcher's picked up once it's Cardinal's turn to pour it, his head shaking just a bit as he admits, "There's a lot of interesting stuff on the wind. You given any thought to what you're going to do with your life now, man?"

Elisabeth takes a swallow of her beer and keeps the silence field in place steadily.

Mack draws a red and white pack of cigarettes out from his hoodie pocket. One is taken out, but luckily not lit. Instead, he just rolls it across his knuckles like a lucky coin. "I've done a lot of thinking, but it never really goes anywhere. Too many things need doing in my opinion, but I seem to have a hard time picking one to run with. There are a few people I'd like to pay a little visit out on the Island, but as you can see that I'm sitting here now, I haven't quite managed to sack up and roll out."

There's a thump as the pitcher's set back down on the table's top. Cardinal lifts his glass in a toast-like gesture towards the other man to indicate his words, leaning back then as he admits, "There's a lot of shit that needs to be done lately, agreed there. What sort've stuff are you talking about?"

There's the clatter of feet on the stairs down from above. There's Leo, in a faded t-shirt, jeans, hiking boots, dogtags jingling until he remembers to stuff them under his shirt. He blinks at Liz, nods at Cardinal, only glances at Mack for a moment. Takes a seat at the bar, orders a jack and coke.

Elisabeth nods in Leonard's direction, sending him a murmur under her breath that her two companions won't pick up. Her expertise with the silence bubble and hearing and speaking through it are getting better, so long as she's line-of-sight. ~What? You think I'm too much of a goody-two-shoes to have a beer?~ She glances at the two men with her and rolls her eyes slightly. She'll give 'em another couple of minutes to get to it before she lays all the cards on the table. She hates the tap dancing.

"People with too much power and money, or both, that need to be relieved of it. Crazy fuckers wandering around doing whatever they feel like it because they think nobody will do shit to stop them- and, for the most part, they're right. You know," Mack pauses here because impassioned speech aside, there's no stopping the drinking, "Just a bunch of dumb ass vigilante wanna-be Robin Hood bullshit."

"Yeah, you're right…" The tip of Cardinal's finger brushes over the rim of his glass, observing casually, "…you saw the news on Saturday, I presume? That fucking chopper that tried to take down the crowd, the fucking lynchings over at the Guiding Light?"

There is a completely bizarre humming in the air at that - the wineglasses hung above the bar to dry all chime like bells. Leo's expression is impassive, mostly, but there's a thread of embarassment there.

Elisabeth grimaces. 'Fucking chopper' doesn't cover the half of it. "That was a complete clusterfuck," she observes softly. "All the way around." She sips her beer and teases Leo a bit more just because she can. ~You're silly.~ She sounds amused, her smile hidden behind her glass. Her eyes slip to Mack while she listens.

"No. I don't watch the news. Sensationalistic bullshit, and the little bit of real content that isn't is even more depressing than the rest of it. I don't need to turn on a tv to see this city is falling apart; I can get up and walk down the street." At this, Mack downs the last three quarters of his beer and refills it. He slides his glass to the side and starts tapping the unfiltered end of his smoke on the table rapidly. "Anyway, we didn't all gather round to see ole Gabriel lose his fuckin' mind and go off on rants."

"See, that's where you and me differ, Mack. You leave the news off and try to forget about the shit," notes Cardinal firmly, gesturing with his beer again to the man across from him, leaning forward then with a faint, knife's edge smile to look over the edge of his shades, "Me, my information network tells me something's going down, and I'm on that helicopter killing the hostage-taking motherfuckers who opened fire with a machine gun in the middle of a civilian crowd."

Leonard offers Liz a sidelong smile. But mostly, he's just listening, for the moment. The jack and coke he's just nursing, for the moment.

Elisabeth sips from her beer and sets the glass down, keeping a half-eye on Leo as she finally speaks up to the two men in the silence bubble with her. "There's a lot of bad shit that we know about coming down the pipe…. up to and including a bunch of Tier 3 Evo criminals on the loose that no one wants to really talk about, and a desperate mission to change the future." She grins a little. "We're living in the Terminator movies, man. Sounds entirely stupid, but … it's true. You said you wanted to make a difference… that still holding true, or you wanna walk away before you learn the things we know?"

Mack eyes Cardinal while he speaks, not noticing the cigarette that had recently seen usage as a drumstick was now little more than some ripped paper, a little pile of tobacco, and a discarded filter. Then his attention shifts to Elisabeth, and his initial response is, naturally, to lift an eyebrow. "Do I strike you as the 'walk away' type?"

"That you don't," Cardinal replies with a quiet chuckle, his head shaking slowly, "The world's a pretty fucked up place, Mack, and if we don't change what's coming… we have people who've seen the future. Nuclear fires. The streets flooded to thirty-fourth street. Staten Island, a bunch of floating rocks. Fascism. Death. Destruction on a scale that's hard to imagine." His tone expression, expression the same, "Phoenix are kids. They're well-meaning kids, but they can't do the shit that needs to be done to save the goddamn world."

There's a grin at Mack, blue eyes slant him an amused grin from beneath her lashes. "Nope. Never did. But I figured offering you the last chance to run like hell rather than knowing some of the shit I know was the right thing to do," Elisabeth comments softly. She sits back in her chair and sighs heavily. "We're not just basing everything on the words of seers. Not so long ago, a group of people — just regular folks, really — got thrown forward in time. They saw a lot of good things, but the bottom line was that the thing that GOT everyone to the fabulous future was a lie. We've headed off the root problem… but by doing it, a lot of other problems that the guy in charge would have handled for us now fall to us. Like the escapees from Evo Gitmo."

"That…" Mack leans back a little, finally raising his hand to scrub at his eyes. Even though its ears that are reporting all kinds of cracked out shit he knows he probably shouldn't believe. His head cocks to one side, its inner workings apparently unable to reconcile what he's just been told. "Well, fuckerdeedoo. But that sounds a whole lot of theoretical space time continuum flux capacitor shit. That said, I'm not much of a philosopher. These escapee's… they like the real gitmo kids, mostly harmless people with the wrong gene that need somebody to get them the fuck outta town, or are these the baddy bads looking to go all 'the Bomb' part duex?"

"Six of one," Cardinal admits with a shrug of one shoulder, "Half-dozen of another. I can show you the list of news articles I've put together, if you like— Norman White's been leaving a series of earthquakes across the United States, and I've seen the man with my own eyes. I'm hoping to drag some of the more… reasonable people out've his group, but they're a danger. Read the news— you can find the nuclear weapon that's missing, if you look hard enough. It's in the hands of the Vanguard's loyalists, somewhere. Codename Munin." A snort of breath, "And you wouldn't believe half of the stuff I saw in the Pinehearst Facility before it blew, Mack."

Elisabeth glances at Cardinal, picking up her glass to sip from it as he answers. "Including one Homeland Security agent who was brian dead and had the plug pulled on her life support who is now alive and kicking again, sitting in a DHS facility while they try to jog her memory." She glances at Richard as she speaks, having not had time to tell him. Not that he'd know who Kat Marks was. Or is. Or care one way or the other. But Mack might remember her slightly. "Kat Marks was killed in the line of duty… or at least rendered brain dead… and someone at Pinehearst fixed her up. She's missing a lot of memories, though. She apparently escaped the facility the night we hit it." She shrugs a little, returning to the topic at hand. "There's a lot of information to take in. A lot of things we can tell you and show you to prove that we're not fuckin crazy. In spite of the fact that it all sounds like we should be in a movie somewhere." She knows exactly how it sounds. "You might be one of the more singularly qualified folks to play this game, with the contacts you've got at this point. Between knowing people out on Staten who MIGHT have seen …. the Sandman killer, Norman White, or any one of the Humanis First bastards who kidnapped, tortured, and killed Ivanov, me, a pastor out of the Guiding Light, and at least one other person I know… make that THREE other people I know for sure about…. I think there's a place for you."

Mack sighs, letting the mildly unpleasant air of resignation escape through his nose so that when he speaks he's all business. There's a hardness to his expression that has been missing… since before Staten; maybe since the Pariah raid. Its hard to say. What is NOT hard to say is that its there. "Still no leads on that front, huh? Damn. Alright, you're starting to speak my language. People, I can find. Got any visuals of your Sandman? Ah, well, anyway. Yeah… people, I can find." He reaches behind his back at this point, touching the small of his back lightly.

Cardinal's head tilts a bit towards Elisabeth, "…I'm curious to. You just mentioned this today, do you have any pictures of the Sandman? God knows I've got enough files in my hands, I might've seen his face somewhere."

Elisabeth brings out her phone — there's a picture of the woman in question on it because she had been planning to send it to Hana as well. She shows both men the rather distinctive woman known as Maeve Buchanan. "She excretes some kind of poison powder that is a paralytic agent — unless you're a child or infant. She accidently killed her own baby, and they think she's basically out there looking for it — she thinks the cops took the kid. Psychotic break." She shakes her head. Name's Maeve Buchanan." And then she hesitates. "And I've heard some rumors on the street recently that indicate to me that whatever the hell it was that Cat was supposed to be doing to keep Maya Hererra under control is epic failing. That news report last week about a couple hundred dead people at the stadium? It was her." She grimaces. "Knew I should have turned her in when I had her in my hands." No matter what Wireless wanted.

Mack has quite obviously been drinking; and there's little chance it started with the beer Liz provided. Yet he doesn't even blink at the list of names and incidences. Instead, he lets his glance slide between the two seated across the table from him. "Sounds like I've got some shit to handle."

He's not included in this. Leo finally swings his attention over to Liz and her cone of silence. And to her he notes, quietly, figuring she'll pick it up, once she's met his gaze, "What's up, Liz?"

Cardinal leans in, one arm resting against the table's surface— and his eyes widen a touch behind his shades. "Jesus. I've seen her— she was with White's people, on Staten. She's a Moab escapee." A lean back, his expression darkening at Elisabeth's words, "They didn't suppress her? What the fuck… Christ, and they wonder why I pulled all my people out of the fucking safehouse they kept her in?" One hand comes up, pinching the bridge of his nose, "Kids. Jesus Christ. Fucking… Phoenix, I swear to God…"

Elisabeth's expression goes slack with shock. "Well, that explains a fucking LOT. No wonder DHS is fucking QUASHING APBs on this bitch." She sighs and rubs her forehead, telling Cardinal, "They did suppress Hererra, but the supply of the drug was very limited. We tried making more and couldn't replicate it. I didn't know where she'd gone — by Cat's design." She hesitates and looks at the two men she's sitting with. She still had an ear peeled for Leo because she'd been chatting at him, and when he says her name, she slants a glance toward the bar. Pitching her voice to carry through the bubble, Elisabeth says quietly to the man at the bar — and Mack and Cardinal can hear it — "A whole lotta fucking nastiness, as usual, Leo." She hesitates, clearly deferring to the shadowmorph regarding whether to expand the bubble further. It's not her decision here. "He's working at the Suresh Center. Might have some good intel for you," she tells Cardinal quietly. And then her phone rings in her hand, and she glances at it. "And that's my cue, boys." She moves to stand. "Duty calls."

As Liz takes her call and subsequently departs, Mack slaps one hand down on the table and stands himself. "Well, might as well get off my ass and do something. Guess I finally have a reason to go pay my 'friends' a visit. See you around, Card."

"See you around, Mack," Cardinal's chin tips up to the other man, flashing him a grim smile, "Ask Liz to bring you around the place, sometime, I can introduce you to some folk and show you some files…"
Leonard is eying Cardinal in clear expectation. Nothing hostile or challenging there, but like he's hoping Liz vouched for him, and there will be further explanation.

Once the ex-cop is gone, Cardinal leans back in his chair a bit, reaching over for the file folder he had set nearby. At the look from Leonard, he arches a brow up, "Yes?"

"You're a friend of Liz's, I see. Not a…co-worker?" Leo wonders, tone lazily amiable.

"No," Cardinal admits with a quiet chuckle, his shoulders shaking a touch, "I'm not a cop, Leonard." He opens the file folder up once more, fingers shuffling the papers in it around, "Why do you ask?"

Leonard tilts his head. "Just curious," he admits, quietly. ""Wondering what you and she were up to."

Cardinal shrugs a bit, admitting, "Just making acquaintances, is all… I always need more people working on this shit." He flickers a look up to the other man, one brow arching, "So what've you been up to?"

A faint, rather impish smirk appears on Leo's features. "Do you?" he wonders, eyes widening a little. "You should let me know. I need more hobbies."

"I don't think Dean'd approve," notes Cardinal with a wry smile, gaze dropping to the papers in his folder, "She's a bit of a soft touch, after all."

Leonard blinks slowly, like a cat basking on the hearth, "I'm allowed to pursue extracurricular activities," he notes, mildly.

"Are you, now?" A twitch of Cardinal's lips, one brow lifting as he looks back up, "Well, I'll keep it in mind…"
Leonard inclines his head. "I am indeed." Apparently he's had enough quiet, these days.

Cardinal snaps the folder shut, and rolls up to his feet, "Like I said… I'll keep it in mind. There's always something coming up…"

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