Jailhouse Prom Queen

Participants:

helena_icon.gif jessica_icon.gif lucrezia_icon.gif

Scene Title Jailhouse Prom Queen
Synopsis Lucrezia has a message, and Jessica has a suggestion, for Helena. Or, the Red and White Queens have lunch with Alice. Guess who's who.
Date March 18, 2009

Moab Federal Penitentiary - Cafeteria


Chow time! Line up, sound off, march on. The women confined at Moab Federal Penitentiary always eat every meal a half an hour before the men, however, segregation of the sexes in conjunction with reduced population count means that they never share the same tables in the chow hall and, thus, no message can reach the other side that way… in theory. When it comes time to choose her place amongst the victims and villains currently pecking at what passes for food at the facility, Lucrezia very purposefully seeks out a young blonde woman that she'd shared a few words with out in the yard. Helena. The older Italian claims the seat to Helena's left rather than locating herself across the table and keeps her dark eyes directed down at her tray when she says, "Buongiorno…"

"Hello." is Helena's soft reply. She's not so used to having someone sit next to her as much as across from her. Helena forks at the meal absently, and without any pleasure - food here is meant to sustain and nourish, but nothing more. It is with some resignation that Helena puts it into her mouth, mechanically chews, swallows. If she ever gets to taste real food again, she may weep. "I hope you're not having too much difficulty." she murmurs. "The first week or so is really hard."

Lucrezia's appetite has waned significantly since her arrival at the facility, no doubt due in some part to the drugs they've been pumping into her veins in order to prevent her brain from reclaiming its preternatural equilibrium and ability. It's something that every inmate is apt to experience — the Moab diet. The effort she makes to eat is purely artificial; an act put on to allay suspicion. They don't have long and Lucrezia doesn't waste time to getting to the meat of the matter at hand (especially since she has no intention of bothering with what might pass for meat on her tray): "They've been looking for you. He asked me if… I could find you…"

"But you can't tell him that you found me." Helena says, her head lowering almost as if she's in prayer. "It's not the first message that's come to me, but the previous messenger hasn't gotten out, either." She reaches for her drink, takes a swallow. "Was there - was there anything specific? To the message?"

Instead of acknowledging what would appear to be the most obvious flaw in her implied plan, Lucrezia merely makes a hollow humming sound as she appears to have momentarily become distracted by tilling rows that almost instantly disappear through her thin field of sub par apple sauce. "Only that you haven't been forgotten and that they're looking," she says to her untouched food. "I imagine once they figure out where you are, he'll want to mount some sort of foolish rescue…"

"You need to eat." Helena interjects abruptly while looking at her own food. "If you don't, they'll put a tub in your arm." Her tone suggests such has occurred to her to try. She forks some of her food around her plate, again takes a bite with no pleasure. "How did you know to be there? On the bridge." This is asked in a hush, after Helena swallows.

The tall and slender blonde that could be any of the Sanders flavors approaches, having picked up her own tray of food. Helena is the target of choice, though she's curious about Lucrezia after the events of the other day. She approaches the table, and then moves to sit. "I see everyone's enjoying the fine cuisine."

Jessica — er, Niki? — makes for just as suitable an interruption as any and it's all the distraction that Lucrezia needs in order to ensure that the topic of conversation avoids going back to anything to do with the hullabaloo at the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge. No. Instead, let's just all keep talking about how terrible the food is. For the first time since sitting down, Lucrezia actually lifts up her head and offers the new arrival one of her trimmest smiles. "Perhaps they'll consider kidnapping a French chef soon for a little change of pace…"

"Jessica, Lucrezia. Lucrezia, Jessica." Helena's eyes flick sidelong. Let's see. The only two gangs that were there were Phoenix and Vanguard. Lucrezia wasn't Phoenix, but she was attacking a known Vanguard member…then again, she'd heard something about them imploding. For the moment, she keeps that card to her chest. With a faint smile, "Jessica thinks we should reenact The Great Escape. I'm counseling patience. You can make up your own mind."

There's a slight pause before Jessica's reply, and then she nods. "It's a pleasure. And I think I'm tired of being in prisons. It doesn't matter which one, they all lose their appeal after a little while."

"This is… not your first time, then?" The older Italian woman wagers the question without any apparent abashed concern for what may or may not be considered polite conversation over breakfast even if she isn't eating anything. Blame it on her ethnicity, if you like. She is Sicilian, after all.

Helena's sudden smile is quirked and decidedly wry, but for the moment she says nothing, merely sips her water. Until, "Jessica," she says, "Should I be expecting any payback from Tabitha and her goons, or is it all settled?"

Jessica chuckles. "No. Not my first time. My fourth time, actually." Maybe she's one of the people that's actually SUPPOSED to be in Moab. "Oh, I'd keep an eye out for her. She won't let it rest. But if there's a problem, I'll handle it."

"Who is this Tabitha?" inquires the darker of the three, spoon all but forgotten as it's clutched loosely between her fingers. Lucrezia does her utmost to keep the conversation from detouring in her direction again while still participating actively. If she's going to be here for long, she may as well get the lay of the land from the natives, so to speak.

"Not that I don't appreciate the help Jessica, and not even that I would turn down more help in the future, but I don't want to give the impression that I'm letting anyone fight my battles, either. You can't always be around me, and you have no reason to want to protect me, not that I'm not grateful. If you have an idea though, I'm willing to hear it. You know how to handle this better than me." Lucrezia's given a faintly annoyed smile. "One of the women here in the facility. She's set on being the Jailhouse Prom Queen and thinks I'm somehow in her way to the crown. Funny thing is, I wasn't even nominated."

Jessica smirks at the question. "A little bitch who thinks that being in prison somehow makes her tough. And that's why I didn't deal with -her-, just the extra help she brought, Helena. YOU needed to deal with her."

While ordinarily the odds of a woman like Lucrezia having half a clue about any of the American high school analogy that Helena just made would be pretty slim but, thankfully, Lucrezia Bennati is a woman of the world and an actress to boot and so her expression accomodates some measure of understanding, even if she isn't entirely on board with the metaphor. "I see," she says somewhat shortly, pitching a quick tennis match of looks between the two Barbie dolls flanking fringes of her field of vision.

"You mean biting her in the leg wasn't enough?" Helena asks bleakly. "I don't know how much more I can do. I don't want to get tossed into Red because of her." The prospect sort of terrifies her, but she keeps herself calm. Lucrezia's close enough to catch the slight tremble of her hand for a moment, though.

Jessica looks at Helena. "You probably surprised her, but you'll need to beat her down before she's likely to stop. MIGHT need to kill her. She doesn't have a lot to lose in here, except her perceived power." She seems calm about the options.

Helena frowns as she rises. "I'm not going to kill anyone." she says emphatically. "I just want to be left alone."

Chow time's over! The whistle blows and, like clockwork, the inmates pick up their trays and begin to file obediently into lines again for the march back down to the cell block. Lucrezia lingers, if only for merely a moment longer than the others, eyes oddly fixed on her untouched applesauce, imagining all of the ants that she might be able to bring in to the building with a few strategic dollops hidden hither and yon. Not that it would make much of a difference, all thing's considered, but it's the thought that counts with these sorts of things. Every colony needs a queen.


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March 18th: Nothing Better To Do
Previously in this storyline…
I Know Why the Jailbird Sings

Next in this storyline…
Arbeit Macht Frei

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March 18th: Arbeit Macht Frei
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