2009-11-26: Conspiracy Theories



Date: November 26th, 2009


Tensions rise when some people think others are out to get them; conspiracy theories abound.

"Conspiracy Theories"

Central Park

New York City

How does one get a girl's attention off of self-pity and the like? Why, that's easy. Distract her with a skill!
And if you're like Tiago and lack all useful skills period, bounce a soccerball up and down on your right foot. His brows are furrowed with careful concentration, and his tongue is poking out from between his tightly pursed lips. Eventually, though, the volley falls short as the ball finally thuds against the earth of Central park, and with a laugh the man turns to beam at Lena.

What did'ya think? I do good an' all?" He inquires happily, before tapping the ball over to her feet. It's a cool, but mild sort of day, and the park isn't overwhelmingly crowded for once.

It's the little things that'll get you through life: being able to cross your eyes, or roll your tongue, or fart with your armpit, or bounce a soccerball on your foot. Lena's only capable of one of the above, and it has nothing to do with soccerballs. Therefore, she can't help but look a little impressed at her boyfriend's mad skillz, in spite of sticking to a somewhat subdued demeanor.

"Yeah, how to you do that? I can't even get it to stay on my foot." She demonstrates, poking ineffectively at the ball with the foot in question. It rolls listlessly a short distance away, leaving the teen to follow after it. A light frown of concentration lays claim to her face before attempting try number two.

After a long spell of sitting and reading in the park, it's time to get some blood running. Detective Maggie Powers is just Maggie today until her phone rings to tell her she has somewhere to be; so far, that hasn't happened yet, leaving her with a day off.

She strolls along, cutting across the grass at the moment rather than following a path; pleasantly, she turns a casual eye to the soccer ball that rolls closer. Maggie has tucked away all the things that were keeping her busy into her bag: a hefty satchel, tan, with fringe, not of the particularly stylish sort, especially since it looks like it's been through some journeys. Maybe a war … in the desert. The thirty something woman's black leather jacket is similarly well-worn and slightly too large. The soft blue scarf around her neck serves to offset any particular ruggedness, however. She'd be good for undercover work. Whatever a typical cop is "supposed" to look like, Maggie is not it.

Bobby plays his acoustic guitar, not for money or anyone specific, but just for the hell of it…. "Christmas, Christmas time is here, and Christmas songs you love to hear. Thoughts of joy and hope and cheer, but mostly shopping, shopping, shopping. Christmas. Christmas time is here, the sleigh bells and red nosed deer. Songs and songs we love to hear all played a thousand times each year." He continues down the path, not really paying attention to anyone unless they get within a certain distance.. new Yorkers develop a sort of 'defensive radar' when walking through Central Park… The smart ones, anyways.

Tiago walks around Lena in a tight circle, examining her soccer form (read that as: her ass) thoughtfully. "I'm magic, man. I forgot ta tell ya, I actually /am/ special. I can do amazin' things with balls." Beat. "…If you make fun of me for sayin' that, I swear ta God Ima kick your pretty little butt." As if to reinforce this, the lad puts on a sudden burst of speed and proceeds to steal the soccer ball away from Lena, using only his nimble feet. With a broad, shining grin, he looks to her. "Here, let's see how good of a goalie you are, yeah? Block this with your hands!" And without further warning, he jogs away from the woman, before turning and kicking the ball straight for Lena's chest - giving her enough time to duck out of the way, if she wishes.

"Don't worry, Chi, that's a skill a lot of girls…hey!"

Lena has had a lot of practice with projectiles being aimed in her direction lately. She'd actually relaxed enough for a faint grin, and the quip, while enjoying the sight of the Brazilian dancing around like a sports god with that soccer ball. But she knows him well, and about half a second before the ball goes whizzing towards her…Lena's already dropping. Her jeans are going to end up a muddy mess but that's a small price to be paid.

Of course, the others wandering by on the path behind her may not feel the same. Incoming!

As the pair play ball nearby, Maggie glances along her shoulder as she strolls toward the path, espying the man with the guitar, calmly observant eyes taking him in. She has a defensive radar, but it has nothing to do with being a New Yorker — since she isn't one — and has everything to do with her training and her past, which is why, when the soccer ball is suddenly whizzing through the air in the general direction of the path, she sees the possible series of events quickly and halts. A decidedly feminine voice shouts an urgent warning: "Watch out— !" Of course if it misses Bobby, it might be headed for her.

Bobby continues with his humorous holiday song until a shout escapes from a woman. He looks back quickly, expecting some form of danger when *KABONG!!* A soccer ball becomes a music critic and smashes the guitar.. "Damn Bro.." Says the Italian, a toothful grin on his face. "You could've just told me if you didn't like the song." He smirks until he spies the two that occupy the area that the ball most likely came from. "Gee… for people who like to keep to themselves you certainly have a knack for attracting trouble." he says, as he kicks the ball back to them.
He turns to Maggie, a charming smile on his face.. "Are you alright, Miss?" he asks. She looks unhurt, but it'd be polite of him to ask, plus it makes a great ice-breaker.

Tiago is snickering quite openly when he notices Lena hits the proverbial deck. It doesn't occur to him until a couple of seconds /afterwards/ that there is still a rogue ball, running around. "…Fuck! Look ou-" He calls out, the upstanding citizen that he is. See, he /tried/. Even if it was much too late. Blinking a couple of times, the man ends up adopting a highly guilty, apologetic expression, shooting Lena a halting glance. "Why didn't ya catch it!" Oh yeah, because he's completely innocent here. "Hey! Hey, I'm sorry, man. We were jus'…fuckin' 'round, you know? Rogue ball."

Lena pushes herself up from the ground and busies herself with brushing bits of grass and dirt from her pants and jacket. She's less concerned with innocent bystanders, although the smashed guitar does get a glance of mild sympathy. It hurts to see a good instrument ruined. "'Cause it was going like a bajillion miles an hour? I dunno how to play this stupid game!" she says crossly, it being her role to leech all of the fun out of a situation. Shoving her hands in her pockets, she turns to look at their victims. Oh. It's that guy.

She scowls and puts a foot on the ball to stop it as it rolls back in their direction. "Not as much trouble as nosy bastards who don't know how to keep their mouths shut."

Kicking a ball around is one of many activities that go on Central Park — Maggie kind of takes it as a given that flying balls are a risk, but she's nevertheless concerned for the guy who just got hit. Or, well, his guitar. She picks up her pace and jogs to the edge of the pathway, keeping a tight grip on her satchel. "I'm fine," she says with a the beginnings of a friendly smile. "I'm not the one who got hit by a soccer ball. Is your guitar alright?" The same smile turns on the pair responsible for the rogue ball, though her sharply arched eyebrows lift. If it's chastisement, it seems to be mostly good-natured. "You should look before you kick." No harm, no foul … no one was hurt. However, the woman's gaze turns more concerned as she looks between the two parties. There's obviously some prior hostility there! She lifts a hand, the pacifist. "Hey…"

Bobby shrugs and tosses the busted guitar in the trash. "It's all good. I was contemplating buying a new one. Now my decision's been made." he says with a bright smile then looks to Tiago. "It's good.. That's a nice kick, though. Do you play? There some community teams in the city that could use a leg like yours." To the angry young woman he just raises a brow and shrugs. "I don't know what your daddy-issues are, Miss, but you seem to be confused. I have no idea of what you're talking about." He sends Lena a 'poor lost girl' expression.

Tiago had been prepared to apologize and move along. He isn't exactly heartless to the broken guitar, but at the same time…it was an accident. It wasn't like he was aiming for Bobby, so why /should/ he feel so bad? Curling his lips in an expression of faint amusement. Jogging forward to collect the ball, the smile begins to disappear as he takes in Lena's response to the jeer. But one glance in Maggie's direction has him throwing a look in the younger girl's direction, hopefully quelling her. "Baby! Relax, okay?" I-…"

And then, Bobby proceeds to escalate the situation with his condescensions. Suddenly, Tiago isn't in such a quelling mood, anymore. "Daddy-issues? Are you fuckin' serious - you don't fuckin' /talk/ to my girlfriend like that, you mother fucker. You show her fuckin' respect, or I come over there and bust you're fuckin' skull in! You know damn well she aint confused, now go take your paparazzi, Guido ass and walk away before I get fuckin' angry!"

"Whatever. Jerk." It's probably the mildest insult Lena has ever slung at someone, but she's trying. Surely that's worth a few points. A breath is taken, large enough to make her nostrils flare, and she glances at Maggie. A nod is offered. "No problem, just been a long…" Oooh. Tiago's making up for her own lack of obscenity. Before he can make good on the threats, she slides an arm through his and gives it a light tug. We're cool. Really, Chi, it's okay. Look, I'm all calm, see? Crazy stalker dudes aren't worth it."

"O— oh," Maggie says quietly under her breath as she watches the guitar go in the garbage. Well, the guy doesn't seem too busted up about to himself, so she isn't either; her expression, however, is still faintly bewildered by the time her head spins to witness the full brunt of Tiago's insults to the guitar player. The friendly, dazed look about the blonde woman very rapidly vanishes. "Hey!" she says again, more adamantly. This time, she means business. Instinctively, she steps in-between the men with a suddenly strong stance, arms spread out, one warning palm spread out to either of them as though she might shove them apart if it comes to that. "How about you both listen to the young lady and just baaack off? Okay?"

Bobby raises an eyebrow at the two and shakes his head.. "You've got some anger issues.. You two would do good by seeing a shrink." He shrugs and turns to Maggie. "I'm fine. It's a holiday and.." He shrugs.."he's not worth it anyways. I apologize for the boy's language. Kids are so angry these days. I don't believe I caught your name?" He looks at the woman oddly.

"Hell /yeah/ I've got anger issues - for some reason, I don't like it none when condescendin' asses disrespect people to their face and then /lie/ about shit. Like you're some kinda victim or somethin'? You aint /nothin'/, man. You aint nothin' but a creep who hassles people in public areas!" Oh, Tiago is incensed. And there's no doubt, he would by shaking his angry fist and growling in the man's direction, if it weren't for the fact that Lena had recently taken to drawing him back. Even then, he finds the energy to shoot the girl a fairly irritated look before swiveling his attention to Maggie, then Bobby. "Kids. Are you…Yeah, whatever. I'm backed off."

Lena cranes a look up at Tiago, a deep line etching itself in her forehead as his tirade continues. Then she looks at Bobby, frowning, as if to say 'See what you did?'. She's supposed to be the crazy one around here. But then, the Brazilian does have one large shiny candy-like button to push, and…well…

"Not the first time we've run into him," she says to Maggie, indicating Bobby with a tip of her head and a shrug that tries for casual. Not so easy to pull that off when clinging to your companion's arm but she manages. "Dude likes to wander around and listen in on private conversations. Makes a person jumpy, you know? Cmon, Chi. You were gonna show me how to kick this stupid thing." Her foot extends, tapping at the soccer ball.

"Okay." The woman eyes Bobby, Lena and Tiago in turn, listening to each of them. There is a hint of solid hostility in her eyes, but her blood is not boiling; she's calm. "Good." She lowers her hands, but stays where she is. "…Maggie," she answers distractedly as she looks back to Bobby. "You know if there's a real problem between all of you, you can call the police," she offers to all of them before nodding her head to the older of the men. A hint of her smile returns, but it's much weakened. "Let's take a walk. You were going this way?" she gestures up the path and starts to walk — just in the hopes of getting him away from the moody soccer player(s).

Bobby nods to the woman and smiles. "Certainly.. and no need to call in the cops.. I really don't know what their problem is." he says honestly, beginning to head back onto the path, done with the other two for now. "So, what're you doing alone on Thanksgiving?" he asks the blonde.

"Y'know, next time he decides ta stalk us and do all that verbal abuse shit, I will. Call the police that is." No he wont, but Maggie doesn't need to know this. It helps to make him look more blameless. Snorting out his displeasure and rolling his eyes, he snakes his arms around her person before moving to turn away. "Yeah…here, I'll teach ya how ta do stuff…"

Maggie gives Tiago a brief smile and a look that really is chastising before she carries on alongside Bobby. "Uuh— " Seemingly disarmed by the man's quick lapse back into casual conversation, she gives a somewhat uncomfortable laugh that's cut off halfway through. Bright blue eyes slide sideways to look at Bobby strangely. "I could ask the same of you." Answer: denied. "What did that guy mean, a creep who hassles people in public areas…?"

Bobby smirks.. "Well, I felt like getting some cold air.. The soup kitchens get a bit warm, what with the cooking and the people." He looks back at the two and then back to Maggie with a sigh. "I'm not a creep, and I didn't hassle them.. You heard how loud they can be, right? They were talking about stuff.. Worried.. I wanted to help and they acted like wounded animals.. I mean, I can understand them being paranoid, but they really have to learn that being like that's only going to make things worse for them in the long run."

Maggie glances back in the direction of the pair around the soccer ball thoughtfully; just as thoughtfully, she looks at Bobby. Everyone has their side of the story. She's quiet on the matter, but smiles a tight, purse-lipped smile. "I shouldn't intrude, it's not my problem, you know, I just didn't wanna see anyone get hurt."

Bobby nodnods. "I appreciate it. I was just going to move on. Those two seem to be beyond help at this moment. I was hoping to use her as a source for a story I'm working on, but I'm probably better without her. So what do you do?" he shoves his hands into his coat pockets, with nothing to hold in them now.

Maggie hitches her bag more securely over the shoulder of her leather jacket when it starts to slip. Her eyebrows go up slightly in curiosity as she looks over at Bobby. "Oh," she gasps quietly, as if she forgot to announce her job, despite this being the first time he's asked. "I'm a detective with the police department." Moving right along! "I take it you're a journalist of some kind?"

Bobby blinks a bit, wondering to himself exactly how far the government's reach is.. "Yeah.. I used to work for the Times. Now I've got a blog with a few hundred followers. I.. doubt it's your kind of thing though." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a business card with the web address, (http://hammerandbell.blogspot.com/). "I'm the kind of guy that used to hang out on college campuses with a guitar going on about how bad and corrupt the government is. Now I just hang around the Park and coffee shops doing the same thing. Check it out sometime if you'd like.. You don't have to take me seriously, though. Most don't."

Maggie takes the card and looks it over, smiling appreciatively even if it's not her kind of thing. She'll check it out just because she's curious. "If I can get there," she says with a small laugh. "A teenager had to help me out earlier because I couldn't figure out how to get a message on my computer." True story. "So— " She tucks the card away in a pocket of her well-worn jacket. "Are you a conspiracy theorist or do you just have something against the government?" There's little judgment in the woman's tone, just honest wonder.

Bobby shrugs.. "I…" he sighs, not sure of how much to go into, "I'm not against the government, really.. I just think that someone should point out when they're royally screwing the country, but everyone's too busy checking out the Emperor's invisible clothes… I need to be the guy that points out that His ass is hanging out butt-nekkid. There's so much going on that's getting covered up by the mainstream media that it's such a farce.." he sighs.. "So yeah.. I guess you can judge me as being a conspiracy theorist. I've got proof, but every one of my sources is confidential." He pulls of his black, square-rimmed glasses and huffs on them, cleaning them briefly before putting them back on his face.

The mention of confidential sources brings another lift to Maggie's brows. "I think a lot of the public are catching on to the fact that mainstream media doesn't reflect reality these days," she says easily, smiling. "Maybe not enough but… I dunno. The thing about being a detective is it turns you into a conspiracy theorist every day, you know, every case you have to think about what the scheme is, sometimes the most simple things aren't what they seem. Just … not … on a government level. I dunno! I have an open mind but people can get pretty wild with this conspiracy stuff." Pause. Wide blue eyes peek at Bobby skeptically. "Please tell me you're not talking about aliens."

Bobby nods.. "Well, its good to hear.. A lot of the police-type like to tow the line. They don't want to jeopardize their jobs… I don't blame them.. I lost mine when I was investigating this doctor. Indian guy.. was killed in his cab. I was told not to pursue it.. but I did.. So I understand." He chuckles, turning into full blown laughter.. "No.. Not aliens.. not exactly. Though some would like to attribute it to something alien. it's easier for them to swallow."

"Well— good. I have to admit, though, alien and something alien sound awfully alike. Kind of… go hand in hand." While all things alien may dampen Maggie's ability to take Bobby seriously — and her narrow-eyed gaze says as much — she seems to have no problem continuing the conversation. "Thinking isn't going to jeopardize my job," she adds with a silly little smile. "Well. Maybe all questions will be answered when I go to this website, right?"

Bobby shrugs. "I don't have all the answers, and their not all there. It's just a blog site, not a vast array of knowledge." He smirks.. "There's a book… It's called Activating Evolution. It's written by that Indian doctor I was looking into. Chandra Suresh… He's got some amazing theories.. and i've found that those theories are really more as fact. You can understand that some people are more talented then others, right? Some can sing better, some can draw, some can run faster?"

"Never heard him — or the book." As she strolls along the seemingly never-ending path through Central Park, Maggie tilts her head at Bobby, quizzical; curious, and not unwary. "Sure," she agrees with no trouble, but hesitates afterward. "You're starting to sound a lot like that video that's been circulating lately — that one that interrupted the TV broadcasts recently, with that kid."

Bobby nods. "And you're an excellent detective. That…" he says pointedly, and as honestly as he can.. "Was not a fake… There are people out there.. People with amazing abilities and the government is afraid of them. They're rounding them up and taking them away, just like the Nazis did to the Jews. There was a train going though Upstate New York that had detainees on them.. Men, Women, and Children, being treated as terrorists. Some were rescued, but what about the ones that weren't? What else are we not being told about?" He sighs, calming. "I'm sorry.. if you think I'm a nutcase, I understand.. Just give me five minutes before you call Bellevue on me.."

Bobby is probably used to the look he's being given right now. That look of skepticism, of wariness and doubt, of maybe this guy really is crazy. "You've gotta be kidding!" Only he's not, and Maggie can tell. Excellent detective, remember? She shakes her head and laughs, giving the man a sincerely apologetic smile. "I don't mean to judge. I try not to judge, it's just— those are some heavy claims. You're more than free to believe whatever you want."

Bobby nods and smiles.. "Alright.. Well, thanks for listening, and not calling the white-coats. I should get going. Check out the site and… "he shrugs.. "Take a good look at what's going on around you… A real good look… You may see that the proof you need is right under your nose." he says and waves, beginning to break off to head for a sidewalk.

Maggie opens her mouth to speak up, but after a mysterious parting line such as Bobby's, there truly isn't much she can say that won't sound trite. She lifts her hand and waves, instead, simply opening her palm in the air as she watches him go. Eventually, she shakes her head and drifts to the sidewalk herself, walking in the opposite direction along the outer wall of the park. As she takes the card out of her pocket and looks at it again, her phone rings.

Back to reality.

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