Gathering Troops


vf_elisabeth_icon.gif vf_kaylee_icon.gif

Scene Title Gathering Troops
Synopsis Elisabeth is working on starting a collection — an all-new team.
Date December 12, 2011

Main Hall, The Hub

She’s exhausted today. The nightmares were bad. Elisabeth makes her way to the common room hoping against hope that somewhere there’s a mug of tea to be found. Coffee is a dream, like finding gold, in this place so she doesn’t even hope for it. But teabags can at least occasionally be found just because of what used to be the ubiquity of them in a huge number of places out in the scavenged landscape.Today… she’s not so lucky. So she settles for the glass of water, grateful that it’s clean and cold.

As she walks through the common area, she notes the presence of people with whom she hasn’t spoken specifically as yet. And one, who seems to have a tendency to sit by herself when she is spotted… it’s a familiar face, and therefore at this point Liz invites herself to sit down across from Kaylee Thatcher. “Morning,” she murmurs. “Mind if I join you? I’m Elisabeth.”

She definitely seems to have the intention of actually drawing the other blonde into conversation. On purpose!

Alone is indeed how Kaylee is found, back to the wall, probably due to the fact that she’s pissed off one person that she really should not have. At least in a busy place like the common area, she feels… a little… confident that Isabelle isn’t going to kill her where people can witness it.

There is curiosity plain on the young woman’s face at Elisabeth’s approach, something about the look says that the telepath already knows about her. People talk after all.

Her booted feet are up on the table, and her chair tipped back enough to rest against the wall. Her chin tips down a little, a little defensive, untrusting…. cautious. A hand gesture to any number of seats around the table. “Free Hub.” Despite the open curiosity about this stranger, she tries to sound indifferent.

“Somehow… I think you know who I am,” says Kaylee with obvious distrust. “I mean… as the bosses daughter and all. It ain’t no secret.” Eyes narrow a little as she considers the other blonde.

“I really couldn't care less that Edward is your father, Kaylee,” Elisabeth says quietly. Taking a sip of her water, she admits, “I'm actually far more interested in you and how you're doing. You don't look exactly happy, from what I've seen … and I'm hoping to draw you into a small scheme.” There's a faint smile. “Despite there not being a lot to celebrate, I'd like to make Christmas for the kids. Your help would be pretty invaluable. Would you be interested?”

“That’s a first,” Kaylee comments blandly, but clearly not trusting the other woman’s words.

The mention of a scheme starts to get her interest, but then when Elisabeth explains it, Kaylee can’t help but give a short laugh. “Me?” Then brows lift as she realizes that the woman is… “Your serious.” Doesn’t take… well her to see that. Her head tilts a little as she considering this question, eyes narrowing thoughtfully. “What is it, exactly that you need me to do?”

Elisabeth grins slightly. “Nothing out of range of your skills,” she replies in amusement. “You've lived here a long time, you know the kids in question. If not to speak to, then by observation. So I'd love your help in learning what would make each one smile just that little bit more.” Blue eyes study the other woman and there's a hint of something behind her eyes that is hard to decipher. “These are kids who have it even worse than you… they don't have anyone anymore, not even a sonuvabitch being a shitty father. Would you be willing to help?”

Everyone seems to enjoy reminding her what she has, that they don’t… That gets a scowl out of the telepath, her gaze shifting away to the others. “You realized you are barkin’ up the wrong tree, lady?” She motions to the room with a sweep of her hand, “You could ask Dirk… I’m sure he has an extensive file on each kid. Or Lynette and Mateo… they take care of a lot of the kid.” Her look switches back to Liz, brows lifting, “Or even Elaine since she’s their teacher.”

“Dirk didn’t put you up to this did he?” Kaylee slides her boots off the table and lets the legs of her chair drop to the floor. “An attempt to get me on board his insane plan to get everyone to ‘find happiness and have babies’?’” Leaning forward, she comments firmly, “It ain’t happening.” She sounds convinced there is nothing like that for her, especially in that place.

Elisabeth visibly pales at the last demand, looking sick to her stomach. “Why the fuck would anyone encourage that here in this world? Jesus… it’s bad enough that what few children remain will eventually be left alone as everyone around them dies out! Someone is going to be last. Why would you bring more children into a dying world that has no…” She bites off her words and looks away from Kaylee.

“I’m asking you because you look like you need something better to do than be pissed off at your asshole father,” she finally says. As she looks back, she adds, “And I’ve never heard of you turning your back on something that would make innocent kids smile. I don’t have an ulterior motive in getting you to help — unless you count wanting to get to know you better here.” Because this woman is different than the one she’s met several times. The one who helped the Ferry so much.

“Oh god… you haven’t seen the pamphlets.” For some reason that strikes Kaylee as funny, making her chuckle. “I agree, to be perfectly honest. Ain’t a world for kids.” Eyes roll upwards, like she could look beyond it. “To never see the outside world…. Or the blue of the sky.”

Her head drops forward, eyes on the table… Kaylee is quiet for a long moment. Finally, there is a heavy sigh, dropping a little more, before coming up. “Fine…. I’ll help, but,” Kaylee holds up both hands in front of her, “Again, I ain’t the one to ask about the kids. The people I mentioned. They will know better then me…. maybe… “ Kaylee isn’t really sure how useful she would be, but she finally sighs out, “Maybe, I can sweet talk K-mart into lettin’ go of things for it.”

To be honest, Kaylee isn’t sure if she can, but it’s what she could think of. She’d probably have just as much of a chance getting the man to dress up as Saint Nick, himself. But what could it hurt?

That makes Elisabeth laugh quietly. “If you can convince Kain Zarek to part with anything for those kids, that would actually be a huge help,” she admits. “Not like we can run out and go shopping or anything, right?” But she nods to the conditions. “If you don’t know them as well as I thought, then that’s fine. I’d really just appreciate the help in making a holiday for them. I don’t know if Dirk does that for them and I’d already planned on getting him on board, because this is his wheelhouse. But…” There’s a long pause. “I want to at least bring a little light to whoever I can while I’m here, Kaylee.”

She toys with the glass in front of her. “I come from a very different place than this. Being here is really hard — especially seeing people that I know as hopeful, determined individuals feeling so hopeless. It kills me.”

“Well, I said try,” Kaylee points out with a small smirk, “I guarantee nothin.’ Though I might have another guy I can ask, but… again… no guarantee.” She wasn’t completely sure what Cardinal would be willing to do. However, Elisabeth has the right of it… Kaylee kinda had a soft spot for cases like this.

Unfortunately, to survive in this world, you were not allowed such luxuries. So maybe that is why something Liz says catches her attention. ”Wait… Your gonna leave here?” She sounds surprised at the idea of ever getting out of that dungeon. Her mouth opens and then closes, as if trying to decide if she should even… take a chance of askings.

Finally curiosity wins over, “W-w-where is ‘home” for you?” There is a sort of desire for hope in that question. Hope that maybe she would got out one day.

Elisabeth’s blue eyes are haunted. “Home… is a world a half-step sideways through a portal,” she admits softly. “In a place where this virus never got loose. And you… have all of your siblings around you, alive and well.” The rumors are making the rounds at this point, though Liz isn’t sure how accurate any of them are. “Home is a place where we are… if not friends, then at least… getting to know one another. And a place where you work with a bunch of people who help people with powers. It’s not a perfect place — Evos still have it tough. But… it’s definitely not the hell that this world is. And we’re not all dying out.”

She sips from her water and shrugs a little, looking down. “You can’t read me right now, so I’m not sure how I expect to convince you. But… you could ask Richard. I think I’ve at least made him believe.” And given the world they all live in, that can’t exactly have been easy.

Curiosity and hope, gives way rather quickly into skepticism, as Kaylee listens to Elisabeth’s description of things. The fact that Richard knows gets a definite, “Huh…” She’d have to see what the man thinks. “And you think you can get back there?” She isn’t sure she can believe it, not really.

Brows suddenly lift in a thought, “That’s what has dad all excited.” Kaylee has never been stupid, for all that she tries to have people think that. “He thinks he can open this portal, again.” That thought gets a chuckle and a slow shake of her head, “Of course he does.”

Elisabeth laughs softly. “Of course he does,” she agrees, running her hand over her short hair. Her sigh is heavy, though rueful amusement lightens her eyes. “God’s honest truth, Kaylee… I don’t know if we can get back there. But I’ll tell you what I told your … what I told Richard when he asked. If you can do it once, you can do it again — it’s just a matter of figuring out the variables, as your father would say. And… if you have to figure out variables, well… having a man of Edward’s skills is incredibly useful. So I’m going to try like fucking hell to get Magnes and me home again, and I’m going to try like fucking hell to take as many people here as I can with me. I can’t tell you if we’re going to succeed. But…”

She has to look away, struggling with a rush of sudden tears. Pushing out a breath and blinking them back, she returns her gaze to the other woman. “I am not going to give up. I might as well just put myself out of my own misery if I give up on the idea of getting home. And I do not want to die in this hellhole.”

Kaylee’s eyes are distant as she says,”He ain’t had you off’d and hasn’t given up on it, that means, my daddy has a plan and… and he is closing in on the answer..” Despite all the anger and the way she talks about Edward Ray, there is no missing that hint of affection that a daughter would have for her father.

The smile falls away at a thought… one that she doesn’t share. Instead of voicing her concern, Kaylee straightens and gives Elisabeth a grin, “Alright… so first we’ve got to give these kids a christmas… then after that we see.” Fingernails drum on the table, with a new enthusiasm.”If y’all need help with that plan, let me know. I wouldn’t go telling my daddy that… He’d rather keep me locked up in the tower.”

There’s an indelicate snort from Elisabeth on that one. “Then he’s not as smart as he thinks he is,” she murmurs. “Because you’re one of the single most capable women I’ve ever known, Kaylee. And it’s a shame he underestimates you.” She wipes the tears that nearly escaped away as she chuckles. “Don’t for a moment thing that I will make the same mistake, lady. If you can help with this plan, I’ll let you know. I promise. Now I just need to figure out who needs to be on the team that’s going after the person I need.” She grins slightly. “If you’re willing to take the chance, I’ll keep you in mind.”

“You do that,” Kaylee’s blue eyes have a glimmer of mischief to them. “Any chance to get out of this hellhole, is worth the chance it would take.” The chance to see something other then drab walls. A part of her would love to be there when this woman tries to convince her father to let her out.

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