2007-04-30: A Complicated World

Starring:

Elle_icon.gif Bob_icon.gif

Summary:

Elle comes to plead with her father. Bob is impatient, angry, and somewhere in there, lets go.

Date It Happened:

April 30, 2008

A Complicated World


Kirby Plaza

Wedensday morning finds Bob sitting beneath the big double helix in the plaza. The nice big twist of symbolic orange. He's cleaning his glasses, again and again and again, as if his glasses were a sacred mandala and the act of cleaning them the meditation that will bring him full enlightenment. It's another New York day, and New York is racing around like New York does. Bob usually races too, at his own pace of decision and counterdecision, move and counter move, wheels within wheels. Not today. Not right now.

Elle's been gearing up for this all day. She's got on a light windbreaker; not at all her normal form-fitting fashion, but perhaps a concession to spring winds. Peter told her about how his meeting with Bob had went, and it's got her on edge. Still, she shows little enough of that as she approaches, walking up closer. "Hello, Daddy." she offers when she's closer. Her tone is carefully neutral.

"Hello, Elle." Bob's tone is also carefully neutral. Or typically neutral, take your pick. He puts his glasses back on his face and looks up at her, his expression betraying absolutely nothing. His body is tense. He's dressed as he's always dressed. Corporate. No imagination. He rests his elbows on his knees and lets his hands hang between them as he hunches forward, an atypical gesture for him.

"Why?" Bob asks the word as if incredulous she'd ask the question. "He's trying to take you away from me. From everything we've built together. From your inheritance, Elle." He gestures back towards the Kirby Building. "The company, all of it, this is yours. This is your legacy. Someday I'd like you to be in charge of it. I'm not immortal. And he's out there, warping your vision, creating this whole…fantasy…that he lives in where people run around in white hats and red capes and are perfectly good, and then they swoop in and save the day from the perfectly evil. And in his fantasy world, Elle, the red caped people always make the right decisions and only lose control at dramatically appropriate moments, just before the 11th hour save, and the black capped people always have the tragic flaw which brings them low. It doesn't work that way. Spend five minutes studying our world and try to tell me it does. The strong, powerful, and rich survive. People are stupid. People make bad decisions. People make mistakes. The world is flawed, and anyone who tries to tell you differently really and truly is trying to feed you a line, and it doesn't matter if he's sold on that line as well. It is a lie."

There's a fairly long pause from Elle as he says that…she DOES roll it around in her mind. "I know that the world isn't that simple. And I know that what we do is necessary." Well, that's a promising sign, still. "We". Not "You". "And I'm not saying that Peter or his friends have a clear picture of things. They don't know what we know, and they're still going to be hesitant to do what has to be done sometimes. I'm…" Another pause. "Daddy, I'm not any less certain now than I ever was about what we do, or that it needs to be done, or that we need to do it." Although she was less certain prior to recent events. "But…that's my job. It's what I do. But I've spent…all my life, at one facility or another. There's more than -just- that. Other agents have lives outside the Company. Even -you- had to, or I wouldn't be here at all, if you hadn't found somebody you loved." Her voice is strained. "I'm not a little girl anymore, Daddy. And I'm not talking about quitting my job. But can't I still do my job and still have a life?"

Something ironic twists at the edges of Bob's mouth at the idea that he had any other life. He looks at Elle for a long moment. It's the pause he uses when he's debating how much to tell her. And the moment passes. His mouth twists into another, more sour line. "How many of them are you protecting, Elle?"

Elle looks confused at the question. "I don't understand." she says, simply. "You mean Peter and his friends? I only know a few, and as far as I know, we already have information on all of them."

"We had this whole group who attacked the Company on his behalf." Bob replies. "He hasn't given up their identity. When you called me to finally admit you were there, you didn't know their identity and were 'working on it'. But that may even be a little beside the point. Lets say you found out every last person I haven't managed to uncover yet." He leans forward. "How do you do your job at that point, and not betray this man you care this much about?"

Elle looks a bit uncomfortable given the topic of discussion. "I don't know. I don't -remember-." She stresses that last word…a reminder of what happened to her. "I know what my job is, Daddy. I can find the line between the two. I just need you to trust me. Please." The last word gets closer to pleading than she'd like…but it is what it is.

Bob takes off his glasses and digs his thumb and forefinger into the pads of his closed eyes. He rubs them slowly back and forth, then rubs the back of his neck and bitterly half shakes his head. Finally he says, "You keep them under control. You do it through him. As long as they stay neutral and off my back and off our territory and stop acting like they think they can just randomly display their powers out in the streets where anyone can see, and they don't go to the news or do anything ridiculous, for now, I'll allow this." He puts his glasses back on and grimaces. "I'm not sure that I have any choice." Now that is a position he hates being in worse than anything at all, and it shows all over his face. His mouth flattens into a thin line. He had the perfect plan, too, and he can't bring himself to go through with it. Damn it. He takes out what looks like a golden doorknob and rolls it from hand to hand. "Today. Elle. That's what I can promise today. In our complicated world, situations change. I can't say anything about tomorrow or a year from now. But despite what you or your…beau…may think of me—" he grimaces, unable to complete the sentence. Too sentimental.

Claudine (Dine) pages: IC text msg: Evolved go boom. Buildings crumble. Totally not me.

You paged Claudine with 'IC text msg: Where?'

The blonde hesitates a moment. Does she want to say it?… She looks back at Bob. "You're my dad. I love you." And she does. It's one of the few uncomplicated emotions in Elle's world. Most of her life revolves around trying to win Bob's approval. "Just…no more memory wipes. Please." She draws her hand out from under the windbreaker. In it, there's a small pistol. She reverses it easily, holding it by the barrel, and sets it in his lap. "I was ready to use that if I saw the Haitian. Not on him. Not on you." On herself. "I can't do that again, Daddy. PLEASE."

Claudine (Dine) pages: IC txt msg: Upper West Side. Msged Orion 2

Bob looks like the thing is an adder and it's about to /burn/ him. He hisses and shoves the thing away. That's as close to 'I love you too' as she's going to get. Unless you want to count a very tense, "I'll find someone to get you that locket." He can't say stuff like that. Its just not in his programming. He puts this sort of…awkward arm around her shoulders though. And gives her this sort of a pat thing. Then his Blackberry starts to buzz…buzzz….buzzzzzzzzzz. As if grateful for the break from Emotional Trauma, he yanks it out. He hits the button, types something terse in return, and gets an answer. He says, "You need to get over to the Upper West Side. An agent reported in saying that an Evolved has lost it over there and is taking some buildings out with him or her."

She hugs him. Holds him TIGHT. "I love you, Daddy." -She- doesn't have problems saying it. But then she lets go when he tugs out his Blackberry. She nods once, crisply, and stands, banishing her own emotions somewhere deeper inside. "I'm on it." She takes the gun, and stuffs it back into the windbreaker. "Never hurts to have a backup." A practical girl, is Elle. And with that, she starts off at an almost-run, to get to her car. She has a job to do.

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