All The King's Women


elisabeth2_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif

Scene Title All the King's Women
Synopsis The King is dead, long live the Queen — but interesting that the court is all the King's women. Gillian takes her place in the hierarchy at the Queen's left hand.
Date Jan 28, 2010

Elisabeth's Apartment, Dorchester Towers

Being able to put off her departure a couple more days because the rest of her team is not in the DC Metro area yet has given Elisabeth time to put a few more things in order for her ragtag little team of people. The phone call from Gillian actually surprises her, but she tells the brunette to come on by her apartment and has coffee waiting when she lets the other woman in. It looks like Elisabeth is still not quite packed yet — a duffel bag sits on the couch, partially filled, and a couple of files sit on her coffee table. The rest of the apartment has that feel of having been cleaned up in preparation of its occupant being gone a while. Elisabeth herself is obviously going for the casual look — a pair of black sweats and a white T-shirt and socks are the clothes she's wearing as she gestures Gillian in. "Morning. C'mon in, I got coffee and some muffins."

Dressed warmly, even if it hadn't been very long since she walked into the Library, there's less of a limp to her step. Gillian must be healing up well, even if it's not quite back to normal. Not as slow in her movements, as she unbuttons her coat a bit more to get comfortable. "Ooo, muffins," it would seem that she's made her decision, going toward said muffins almost immediately. "I haven't found anything beyond what Cat's found, but I'm still a little slow on the research part. I'm not here cause of that, though." Breaking off a piece of muffin with her fingers, she pauses to chew that. "I'm worried about Peyton. She's been spending pretty much every waking minute watching that psychopath guy."

The breakfast bar has stools and there is a plate of blueberry muffins sitting up there. Liz goes around the bar to pour coffee for both of them — or rather to pour for Gillian and top off her own — before passing Gillian's cup to her and then leaning on the counter to listen. Worry clouds her blue eyes and she says, "That's too much. I didn't realize she'd be looking quite so much. Shit." She nibbles her lower lip uncertainly, weighing whether she's going to confide in Gillian.

"I know most of it is probably her own fault," Gillian says, moving up onto the stool at the breakfast bar, as she breaks off another crumbly piece. "That guy hurt her, and I can't really blame her for that. I— I remember when something not nearly as bad happened to me. If I'd had her ability I probably would have watched him all the time the first week or so after." But instead she just kept an eye out… And it's a good thing she didn't have a chance to throw fists at the guy while they were overseas. "Maybe she'll listen to you if you can tell her to cut back on it. Or if there's a way to watch him without her sometimes… I mean she knows where he lives and stuff, so staking him out wouldn't be impossible."

There's a thoughtful look. "Actually, staking him out would be pretty damn easy," she murmurs quietly, thinking of Alec and his nosy spy tendencies. Yes… that could work out really well. Hrm. "I've been giving some thought on the idea of whether we want to have him just taken out of the picture," she finally confides. "The other possibility is to confront Kershner with the whole thing. Because clearly he had some kind of government authorization *and* some help getting off the ice." Elisabeth grimaces. "I'm not liking that possibility, especially now that he's investigating our people."

"Yeah, I don't like the thought of him picking up my picture and going all 'creepy bald goblin stalker' on it," Gillian says, shuddering a bit at the idea. "I'm just worried about Peyton overtaxing her ability. I know she'd had issue with headaches and stuff, and using her power that much definitely can't be good for her. Maybe she'd feel a little less like she has to if she thinks someone else is watching him." A few crumbly pieces later, and she's already finished her muffin, liking the taste of it in her mouth. "There's a lot of shit that I don't like in all this. I didn't have much a choice but to trust the government when they offered the deal, but now that it's done… feels like we're stuck. In a lot of ways."

Elisabeth actually can't help but giggle softly. "Creepy bald goblin stalker on it?" It's nice to have something that really makes you just laugh. "But yeah, I get the drift. And I'm worried about Peyton too. I asked Mack to keep an eye on her while I'm gone, but I'd be much obliged if you would too. I'll let her know that I've got someone physically watching him so all she needs to do is check in."

Liz pauses and sips from her coffee. "We were stuck before they made the offer. We've all been on borrowed time since the Narrows, Gilly. The trick here is to turn it to our advantage." She considers something and sets her cup down to look steadily at the brunette. "We've all been given our pardons with the express condition that we don't participate in any of Phoenix's more…. shall we call them 'active' responses. I think it's fair to say we can stick to the letter of the contract without too much trouble…. if we're not Phoenix, don't you think?" There's a faint smile. "How far down the rabbit hole you wanna keep going, Alice?"

"I saw a picture, he looks kinda like a goblin. Just give him plastic ears and nastier teeth and he could totally play the part at Halloween." There's relief in Gillian's smile, that has nothing to do with dehumanizing one of the faces of Humanis First. It'd be nice to know what the hell kind of deal that guy got. "I'll keep an eye on Peyton. It's not hard to, I mean I am living with her right now." And the visit itself had been for that purpose, trying to make sure the poor girl would have a reason to stop obsessing. To the point of possibly damaging herself. "I think since most of Phoenix got that part of a pardon, there won't be much in that area anymore. Probably better. Cardinal used to talk about how they should focus more on the civil rights part, and let other people get their hands dirty, and I agree." But… she doubts that will ever happen. Not how they might want. "Did you need me to do more than poke around as research person?"

"Not sure yet," Elisabeth admits to the last part. "I'm curious about whether you're willing, more than anything. I think at the moment your research skills are going to be highly useful. Rebel is apparently making overtures to us — as in Richard's group — and he's utilizing old PARIAH members. I'm …. inclined to think Rebel's not lying about what he's seen, but I need proof. I need proof good enough that if I have to drag a FRONTLINE squad kicking and screaming into the fray, I can point to the fact that Evo CAMPS are not what any of us signed up to protect. Once I get a feel for the team, of course."

"Well, unfortunately if Rebel is one of those techno guys, there's not much I can do that he probably hasn't already," Gillian says, looking down toward her hands for a moment. The role of people with technology abilities in the Ferry and with Phoenix became pretty clear. "But I can at least try to verify what we see. Stuff like that. I don't see Phoenix keeping out of it, though. Cat's already doing the exact same thing."

"So far, Cat's doing what I'd like you to do independently — I don't want to be tied to Cat's research, Gillian." Elisabeth pauses and seeks the right way to say this. "She has issues with the choices that I've made — there are a number of angles that Richard was working that I'd like to keep independent of what Cat's up to. She's…. too black and white about things. That's not to say that I don't think we should all keep close ties, but … sometimes it's important to have multiple independent sources verifying intel. If Cat comes up with the proof we need, great. If she doesn't and you trip over something, that's fine too. But don't think that people like Rebel and Wireless are the be-all, end-all. Cardinal killed Arthur Petrelli with no powers at all. We're not in competition with Cat and Phoenix, Gillian," she says quietly. "We're…. a balance in the system of checks and balances. I hope, anyway."

"He didn't kill Arthur alone," Gillian says, voice quiet, before she slides off the stool. "I'll do what I can, but it won't entirely be independant. I don't even have my own computer right now. I'm borrowing one from Cat, and I'll have to leech internet off of other people when and where I can. If the scholarship I got can go toward getting me school supplies, I can probably use it to get a new computer. If I can ever figure out what I even want to do with it. Kinda wish they would've just given me money. I already had a degree."

There's a faint smile. "No… he didn't kill Arthur alone. My point was not that he worked alone — it was that it wasn't his powers he used on his particular part. And the fact of the matter is that if we hadn't all worked together, coming at it from other angles, we wouldn't have managed what we did. I don't expect total independence — from any of the groups. I think with what's coming, Gilly….. we're all going to have to hang together, else we shall all surely hang separately. None of us live or work in a vacuum. We should all be one another's checks and balances." She tilts her head.

"Talk to Claire about a computer. I do believe she was just given one by Rebel of all people…. and you using that one to do what needs doing seems to me to be the best use of the thing all the way around. And if you don't want to go back to school — that, I think, you should talk to Kershner about. Unless you actually do want to go back to school. Have them convert it to either a cash bequest or a retirement account or an apartment or something you can actually use, yeah?" Liz smiles a little. "Can't say I trust Kershner as far as I can spit her, but that seems harmless enough to approach her about."

"I don't really know what I'm going to do, but I don't want to talk to that Agent lady again if I can avoid it," Gillian says, so perhaps that means she won't be making much of a change to her stuff. "I just don't know what I want to do. Money would have been easier to be indecisive with. And I really don't want to keep mooching off Peyton. So more likely I'm going to need a job, which… scholarship doesn't really help me get anytime soon." And the kind of work she's doing here isn't really going to help get her money for her own stuff.

Walking around the counter, Elisabeth heads for the coffee table and picks up a somewhat sanitized version of the Zarek file she found at Cardinal's bolt hole. Turning to Gillian, she holds it out. "Well, that part I can actually help with a little anyway. Can't pay you much yet, but this one you can chalk up to an independent contract job, okay? It might get you on your feet a little til you find that day job. I found this yesterday and I think it's also worth looking into, especially since we know FRONTLINE is going to be moving into Staten as soon as they can pull it together to do so. Someone in the Linderman group has been looking into real estate and real estate laws regarding purchasing land from the government. I'd like you to see if you can locate anything in the public records about what property out there has already been purchased by Linderman or a holding company of theirs.

"I've got someone else looking into the legal aspects, but …. I'm interested to learn whether people out there have already forfeited properties out there, handing them over to the bank in lieu of foreclosure or been actively foreclosed on or what have you. It could take some time, and it's possible they haven't actually moved on it yet so it may be a long-term project that you'll wind up going back to periodically. I don't know." Elisabeth grins a little. "And you're going to not want to draw Linderman's attention."

"This isn't the kind of stuff I normally look for," Gillian says with a frown, but she takes the file, opening it for a brief glance over. It'll take longer to give it more attention, but for the moment a glance over and short version spoken aloud is enough. "But that doesn't mean it isn't out there to find." Even if she's not looking fowrard to the likely legwork that will come along with it. "I'll figure it out. But I wasn't implying you should pay me."

"I know you weren't," Elisabeth says calmly. "But I'm telling you that in this instance, I am paying you. This is a pretty big job, and if it's going to take up your time and require you to spend time at the courthouse and such, I'm not going to take advantage of your expertise without paying you for it in this instance. That won't always be the case," she admits with a grin. "So enjoy it while it lasts."

"All right. I'm not going to say no to money," Gillian says, smiling a bit even as she does up her coat. If all goes well, she can stop using one of Brian's cars to drive around. Not to mention actually… buy her own clothes. She keeps borrowing Peyton's, despite the fact the girl's taller than her. "At least all this research will take my mind off things. Hopefully I can do it without attracting anyone's attention…"

There's a nod, and Elisabeth says quietly, "If you think you've drawn negative attention, stop, okay? I don't want you in a bad spot." She tilts her head and asks with a bit of a smile, "You'll look out for them all while I'm out of town, right?" Though Gillian's barely older than Claire, Elisabeth trusts her to keep a practical viewpoint and a level head. "I'm gonna worry about all of you while I'm gone being soldier-girl."

"Hey, I've been in enough trouble the last year and a half, I try to avoid it whenever possible," Gillian says, buttoning up her coat, likely as a sign that she's about to attempt to go back into the bitter cold. "I'll watch my back. And if all else fails, I'll just say I was looking cause of the Lighthouse. Which I know the Linderman Group helped fund." It's one of the things that might worry her, in this case. But she couldn't really stop what Brian insisted on getting involved in… "I'll keep an eye on them too. As much as I can. Don't come back all brainwashed, though. Or I'll have to smack you."

Walking with Gillian to the door, Elisabeth says very seriously, "I'm counting on it, Gillian. I'm counting on you to keep me … honest. About what I'm doing and why."

"First sign of singing the praises of the Agent Lady and the government, and I'll blacken an eye," Gillian says with a dimpled smile tugging into place. While it might be said as a joke, there's a clear sign in her eyes that she would do as she says. In this case. "As long as they're going to use us, we might as well be using them at the same time." But without trusting them, it would seem. "Thanks for the muffin," she adds, before moving out. To brave the cold and look into criminal activity, it would seem.

"Anytime," Elisabeth replies with a quick grin in return. "See you soon, Gilly."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License