Mad Eve's Demand

Participants:

ff_adam_icon.gif bf_cassandra_icon3.gif ff_doyle_icon.gif elisabeth_icon4.gif ff_eve_icon.gif bf_lynette_icon4.gif magnes_icon3.gif ff_monica_icon.gif bf_odessa_icon.gif ff_remi_icon.gif vf_ruiz_icon4.gif ff_ryans_icon.gif wf_walter_icon.gif ff_woods_icon.gif

Scene Title Mad Eve's Demand
Synopsis A summit of captains is held when dire news reaches the Pelago.
Date December 20, 2018

A riot of noise has descended over the room.

More than two dozen captains of the Pelago region are gathered within what was once the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Voices rise and fall in argument, echoing off of the concrete walls draped with canvas tarps and netting. Oil lamps hang from hooks on metal support posts, brightening up the space on such a cloudy, stormy day.

The entirety of the Pelago is visible from up here, where floor-to-ceiling windows look out over an iron-railinged balcony and then the gray horizon. It's cold up here, it's been getting steadily colder by the week as winter approaches. The squalls will be coming soon, fishing will be more hazardous, weather harsh. This meeting of the captains was to discuss strategies to promote trade and sustainability through the winter.

Not this.

Hold the fuck on!” Captain Ricky Daselles of the Trawler steps out of the unruly circle of gathered sailors, his brother Trent watches on from the sidelines with worried eyes. “Where'd you hear any of this!?”

At the center of the circle of captains and invited crew, a tall and bearded man stands with a knit cap clutched in one hand and held to his chest. Captain Richard Myron of the Far Mariner looks at Captain Daselles with a furrowed brow. The far older man wrings his cap in his hands, shoulders hunched as he scans the faces of the captains around the floor.

“I was…” Myron starts, hesitating as he looks away and to his feet, then back up. “I saw a trade convoy blockaded by a warship. Down off the coast of Virginia.” A tumult if whispers and murmuring voices rises behind Myron’s account. “It was the Sentinel flagship, the USS Decatur.” He finds confidence in his voice now, strength hiding a quavering fear. “They boarded the convoy and butchered the crew. Sent the human survivors adrift on rafts. I picked them up after the fact.”

“How bloody long ago was this!?” Cries Captain Woods of the Featherweight. “Why d’you think they're comin’ h—”

Let me goddamn well finish!” Myron hollers. “The survivors heard the Sentinel talking about a purge. They said Confessor Crowley is bringing their whole fleet up here. It's a fucking witch hunt and anyone that resists’ll be killed!”

Fearful voices rise in the hall, and rain hammers down hard on the glass roof. Captain Woods claps a hand over his mouth and looks down to his feet, then over to the guests from another time listening to this meeting. He'd brought them here to show them the ropes, figure out a way to get what they need to get home, not witness this.

But it was about to get worse.


Captain’s Council

The Empire State Building

The Pelago

December 20th

Noon


Stepping forward into the circle of Captains, Benjamin Ryans holds up his hands, a plea for people to quiet down. The collar of his thick long coat is flipped up against his neck against the cold and rain, his too long hair is tied back at the base of his neck. He looks at all those assembled with blue eyes, the reputation of Captain Ben and his hounds is well known. How many families were reunited with kin due to his efforts? And his determination to stand up for those that can’t do for themselves.

“Are you all not listening,” His voice loud and deep, Ben points to his ear as he turns in a slow circle, “Don’t you hear what he is saying? Their whole fleet.” There is a touch of excitement to his voice, for those travellers that ever met the other versions of him, the show of emotions is different than the stoic and stoney Ben they know. “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is our chance.” Eyes dart person to person assessing each. “We can wipe the earth of these tyrants and assholes.”

Boots crunch on gravel under his feet as he turns, Captain Ryans voice seems to growl. “This is survival of the fittest, it always has been. If history has taught us anything, we are stronger if we stand together, then to flee to the four corner of the globe, where they will pick us off, one by one.”

One of those aforementioned newcomers, the blonde standing at the back of the room in a heavy wool jacket someone managed to find, leans back against the wall with her arms crossed. Elisabeth's gaze on Benjamin Ryans is intent… she's heard the talk. And she thanks God with every breath in her that here, in this world, he is still seems the man that she knew. He's not wrong. She doesn't disagree with his sentiment. She just… has a different agenda at this moment and so remains silent for now and allows Eve to speak for her.

Cassandra finally got to make it to one of these meetings. After all, she is one of the travellers, and knowing things firsthand is usually better than learning them secondhand, even if the second hand is Elisabeth. Squeaks and Aurora were busy with one of the few children’s books that they were allowed back at the Library, which left Cassandra enough time to find the package Eve sent herself from Wasteland and hop on the boat to this meeting of the minds.

Standing near Elisabeth, quiet, bundled in her jacket, is Cassandra. The little package she has with her is tied in a small bundle made out of canvas, swinging idly in time with the tapping of her foot as she rocks it back and forth in time with the conversation - something she’s doing to keep herself calm. She listens to Ben Ryans extoll the crowd to arms, urging them to attack their oppressors and break the yoke of the Vanguard that holds them captive, but the word Fleet brings to her mind a very distinct image. A fleet is usually armadas of ships, armed to the teeth, clad in metal, gunmetal gray bulwarks against the stormy sea, but in the world of Flood, this may be true, but it also may be entirely different. The fuel requirements to keep the ship running by itself would be astronomically costly and rare. She looks up to Liz. “This is starting to look like the eggs and basket thing we talk about sometimes, isn’t it?”

The sound of a staff tapping on the ground precedes the old woman in the fishing hat as she moves through the crowd, with her a trio of women from the Forthright scan the crowd as the woman nuzzles and whispers into the face of a skinny tabby cat. "Quiet there Nostradamus, we have to speak to the people— oh hello are we late?" Black, tattered robes swish around as she turns to regard the group assembled as she comes to stand near Ryans and Myron. "Mmm, good to see you cowboys." Is said softly with that devilish grin.

"My fellow captains, comrades in battle, friends, rowdy take no shit bunch of sc-" one of the women, a platinum blonde by the name of Poppy coughs softly into her fist distracting Mad Eve and she blinks, right the reason she's here. "The wolves gather at our gates, come to reap but they will leave mostly empty handed, there will be lives sacrificed but we will press on, as we always have." Echoing Ryans' sentiments with her ragged rasp, Eve scans the crowd slowly eyeing each and every one of them that she can.

"While the echoes and the whispers that I listen too have been murky, I have received clarity on one thing." The old woman pauses as she takes a more stiff posture tapping her staff on the ground. "I have a request, a few brave volunteers." Fools like herself. "We have had guests from far, far away. They are in need, I am in need of your services."

“I’m never going to get over how different some people are here,” Ruiz mumbles under his breath in a voice that probably only his wife, and maybe Liz, can make out. From one person to the next, there’s differences. The Ryans he knew of in his world? Not at all like this man before him. He had been with Vanguard. That old woman who still looked like Eve? Physically different, but similarities. And that Des he met earlier….

No, he still hasn’t wrapped his brain around that one.

“And it sounds like the ‘doomsday preacher’ was right.” In some ways he wishes he could offer to stay and fight. They ran from his Vanguard. He didn’t want to run again. But they needed to move onward. And his wife had told him they had a good chance that the world that Liz and Magnes had arrived in his world from was the one that their son was in.

And he didn’t know if they could risk waiting to find this Michelle person Liz kept talking about.

Remi’s always been one of the quieter voices in these meetings, mostly listening and only occasionally offering her two cents. She stands today, bundled up warm, an unlit cigarette dangling from the corner of her mouth as she listens to the goings on. Blue eyes pause upon Ryans, frowning. “That’s easy enough to say for some of you. My boat is built for speed, not battle.” Meaning she’s decidedly not going to be sticking around like the man wants.

Her eyes find Liz and her companions, then, her ability skimming their minds even as she watches the old woman take the floor to speak. One hand frees itself from its warm pocket, a zippo contained within; she lights her cigarette, taking a few initial puffs, before settling back to watch — the old woman has her attention.

Magnes stands there in his long coat, arms crossed, not saying a word. He hears about the impending threat, he knows that it's something he wishes he could stay and help with, but he also remembers the words of Munin.

Never look back, survive for your family.

This place reminds him of that more than anything, of Munin, of another Peter. He's clearly not entirely present, and Elisabeth is the first he turns to and says, voice unsteady, "This is where I fought Kazimir."

There's a few beats before he also says, "This is where she died…"

This building he destroyed in an effort to save people, in a misguided effort to save Munin, it's here, they're all here, as if nothing ever happened all those years ago.

Wrapped up in a fuchsia shawl over her otherwise dark attire, Odessa stands at Mateo’s shoulder and observes the exchange between captains. This is their fight. Which isn’t to say that she isn’t willing to lend aid against the Vanguard - whatever they’re calling themselves now - but that it isn’t her place to make suggestions. Sometimes hiding is the safest option. Others, it’s a sharp blade that remedies the issue.

She’s left hers back with the other supplies. For now. If trouble is sailing in on the horizon, she may just take to carrying it again. “The Vanguard never quits,” she murmurs under her breath to her brother. They would know.

Lynette sits near Ruiz, her daughter in her lap as she always seems to be. She's tired, but there's a spark of something in her that's been missing since they started on this journey. Since she lost her son. Hope, for the first time in a long time.

She listens to the captains, head tilted as she marks who stands with which idea. Eyes move from figure to figure until she sees Eve. She knows that some people dread the woman, but she can't help but feel heartened by her.

Her daughter's name— Evie— is no coincidence.

"Built for it or not," she says, stepping into the conversation despite being a stranger here, "sometimes the battle comes to you anyway." Vanguard seemed adept at bringing it, whatever the world. Never satisfied until they're stopped.

Flanking Eve, Monica cuts a striking form with her leather armor pieced together from the remains of the old world and the machete at her hip. Everyone here knows she doesn't need it to be dangerous, but she still likes to carry it around.

She nods to her captain's words, and points a finger at Ryans. "We need some eager souls. But can't ignore this old threat, either. We're in for some real high-seas, swashbuckling, do or die adventure here in a minute."

She's excited, even if she's the only one.

The voices raised in unison and dissent are cut by sounds the likes of Ryans and Mas; commanding voices each calling for their own personal interests. In the crowd, other captains seem ill-suited to these sorts of discussions, shifting toward the back of the room to listen and see which way the wind is blowing. Woods looks lost, one hand tangled in his hair as he moves up to stand — reluctantly — by Eve’s side. He doesn’t dare say anything, not with so many eyes on him and his reputation as sheet-thin as it is, but he hopes that by standing in proximity to her he might be able to absorb some of her confidence. He already knows where his allegiance — and ship — lie: Wherever Des guilts him into taking them.

Ryans you demented old bastard!” Captain Daselles shouts from across the room. “Sentinel’s flagship makes your little gunboat look like a rubber fucking ducky! What’re we gonna do? Yell at them until they feel bad and leave? We’re not a fucking admara!” He isn’t even entertaining Eve’s request.

“First of all,” comes a British voice from the back of the crowd, “he isn’t the oldest bastard in the room.” Squeezing from between a pair of taller sailors, Adam Monroe looks rail thin and sick, eyes deeply set and dark with weariness. In spite of this, he still carries himself with an unmistakable charisma. “What’s your solution, Daselles, run?” Blonde brows rise. “Or maybe you’d sell us out to them, make yourself look good when the Sentinel comes rolling in, hoping that they won’t kill you too just to be safe.”

The corner of Adam’s mouth creeps up into an uncomfortable smile. “Trust me, I know their type. They kill informants, too.”

Nobody is selling anybody out!” Walter Trafford calls from the side of the room, face red with frustration. “Jesus Christ. You people survived a goddamned purge from these people and now you’re gonna turn on each other?” He flicks a blue-eyed stare to Eve. “My ship isn’t fit for fighting and I’m not much of a fighter. Besides,” he shakes his head, “I know what you want, Eve. Where you want to go. I’m in.” Because it’s his only way home.

Walter’s indirect mention of what it is that Eve wants raises a chorus of confused voices from the crowd. A few speak up, only to be shouted down by others. She has their attention, as does Ryans, now they need to keep their interest.

The Captain of the Cerberus listens to everything, even Eve. A part of him is intrigued with her plea for help, however…. His mind is still on the looming threat. To all the naysayers, he gives them an unsympathetic look. “Even the smallest raft can be a weapon if used right. How many terrorist attacks on military boats have be successful and used nothing more than explosives and a simple… small powered raft?” Brows lift a bit as he looks at them all. “To say your boat isn’t fit for battle is giving up before you even try.” He motions toward the Pelago in general, “And leaving all of these good people to the wolves or have you forgotten all the children we have in this settlement?” Even he has family there.

Adam’s arrival gets a look of appreciation, Ryans’ hand moves to grip his friend’s shoulder. “He is right. I know there is enough military experience to come up with a plan to protect this place, hell we might even have to go gorilla, but to just up and run… let those bastards win?” He shakes his head. “I can’t just sit back or run with my tail tucked.”

Ryans motions to Eve, “Even she agrees and she hasn’t steered me wrong, yet. Even when I had to stand up to Sawyer to bring your loved ones back.” He doesn’t look at anyone in particular, but they all know who they are.

When Walter speaks up, he gets eyed by the old man, blue eyes narrowing slightly. If Benjamin has an opinion, he holds it for now in favor of giving his full attention to Eve. “What exactly are you looking for, Seer?”

The Seer is silent as she gives her first mate a quick smile, her comrade in Boom. "Whoa whoa whoa, there's nothing wrong with old bucko." Jabbing a finger in Ricky's direction, "Mind your tongue for your elders. The end of the world comes via a flood and all the children lose their manners." The pale old woman hisses as she draws herself up to full height, clinging to her staff as she surveys the crowd again. Assessing. Or as Monica calls it bullshittin for time.

There's a wiggling of her fingers towards her biblical counterpart, an old family friend. "It's not fair that you get to look pretty still," She comments absently as she pulls at the skin on her hands. "I need a few willing shepherds willing to fight and guide The Forthright and our honored guests.."

Going to light a joint casually, "Through the territory of Sawyer. Through the shifting waters to the Ark." Faint traces of smoke waft up towards the sky as silence rings out around her.

"Who’s ready? Mmmmm?"

Magnes finally snaps out of his haze when Eve speaks up again, finally stepping forward to actually say something on the matter at hand. "I mean, it's Veronica, right? Can't we just talk to her and explain things? She can't be that different."

The captain of the Sayonara listens thoughtfully, though Ryans’ insistence on battle prompts the woman to frown. She keeps her comments to herself, however, shaking her head slowly. Her attention is mostly on Eve. When she mentions the honored guests, Remi turns her gaze toward Elisabeth, then to Magnes, her brow knitting together slightly.

The Sayonara is fast — and historically, gaff cutters have been the smallest of the ships used in battles. And unlike most others here, Remi knows the travelers, as much as she can. She closes her eyes briefly, taking a deep breath and slowly letting it out. Hopefully she won’t regret this.

“I know our honored guests, and I will gladly help escort them to their destination.” She steps out from the group, moving to stand beside Magnes and Elisabeth, crossing her arms. “The Sayonara is in.” That was pretty quick; really, Magnes and his candid attitude are to thank for this.

“You wanna deploy yourself as an ambassador to the pirates, Varlane? Be my guest.” Odessa tugs at the knit fabric around her shoulders, expression sour. “If she’s out there doing that? I’m not placing bets on her being open to negotiations with us.” Survival is a tough game to play. Once an effective strategy is found, wild deviation is out of the question. Whatever Sawyer’s game is, it’s working for her.

“Veronica Sawyer?” Lynette knows that name, from her own time, from days long gone. She leans over to Odessa, noting in a whisper, “I used to babysit her.”

Which is to say, she didn’t expect her to be a deadly pirate.

“I don’t think talking is a bad idea. There’s neutral territory somewhere. If we can negotiate for passage through her territory, even if it’s just a slim possibility, we should try.” More boats for the Sentinel battle. The less they have to whittle down their forces the better their chance for survival. “Eve,” she says to the oracle, “do you think it’s possible? Would she keep her word?” She knew a Veronica Sawyer, but she understands well enough that this world, that these people are not exactly the ones she knew.

“Monroe is right,” Monica says as she looks over the room. She might be helping in that bullshitting for time, just this once, “we can run, but then we will always be running. We can let them burn our homes and watch from the horizon, but that won’t satisfy them. These are people who killed the world in their desire to kill us. They won’t stop until we’re dead. Or until they are.”

With her arms still crossed, Elisabeth finally speaks up in a voice that is low but carries across the murmuring nevertheless. "Captain Ryans, it sounds like you already have a feel for negotiation with Sawyer. If you don't mind offering your insight on that matter, we'd appreciate it." She pauses, looking over the assembled. "The fewer boats we need to take away from defense of your communities, the better. Make no mistake, though… they will keep coming." There aren't many places left in this world to run.

Adam Monroe, she avoids staring at. That man is a frigging bogeyman in her world. Pulling in a slow breath as she reminds herself to keep her eye on the ball — they cannot take on responsibility for fighting the Vanguard in all worlds — Liz slips her gaze to Eve. Whatever the differences, the seer hasn't yet steered her wrong in any of the worlds. Crazy doesn't make her wrong.

“For what it's worth the Featherweight puts in with, uh, Captain Mas.” Woods calls out, grimacing at Ryans. For as brave as the old soldier is, Woods has neither a desire to die at sea nor any misunderstanding of what he has to do for Destiny. They'd left people behind in the Ark before, and he wasn't about to do that again.

“Are you all out of your fucking minds? You think Sawyer’s gonna be any more merciful than those Nazis?” Captain Daselles barks back, hands up in the air. “God damnit you people are— if the guy with the fucking battleship is staying in the Pelago then… fuck it I'm staying with him. Ain't gonna die along in my little dinghy.”

“Oar Place or Mine is with Eve,” Walter says resolutely. “I'd stay and help you all fight, but— I can't. I can't do that. This isn't…” He dithers, appearing guilty for his reasons. He can't explain them well enough to not feel like a coward in some regard.

“If it comes to fighting out there, at least I think I’m getting better at lightning.” Ruiz whispers quietly for the ears of those closest to him, Lynette and Odessa the most. He thinks he could potentially cripple a ship if the need arose, or at least make them think twice about approaching.

Assuming the ability doesn’t just stop working— as it sometimes has. He’s not even sure why on that. Maybe because it wasn’t the ability his body was meant for. But either way… “I do kind of wish we could stay and fight with them, though.” They were able to fight in the last world, make it a little bit better. He just hoped that they could handle the fleet when it came.

He may have only been here a few weeks, but he already liked many of the folks.

Cassandra remains quiet through this whole ordeal, standing as close to Elisabeth as she can. The woman has a little more experience with things like this - all Cassie has really done, combat-wise, is save another world’s Eve from marauders, but this? Pirates? It would be an amazing story if it weren’t completely true. Her attention moves from face to face to face, trying to read signs that may give her an idea of the thought processes going on behind the eyes - the same thing she does while using her ability to gather context clues on what might happen. The room seems to be dividing, with the larger ships staying in the Pelago to defend against attackers, with the smaller ones offering to help get the group to the Ark - whatever that is.

The call of his name pulls Ryan’s attention around to an unfamiliar face. There isn’t an answer right away, he studies for her for a moment. Only after a look at Adam out of the corner of his eye, he nods slowly. “I’ve dealt with Sawyer enough.” He says with quiet tone, even though it carries. “She’ll negotiate with you alright, then stab you in the back as soon as you turn it. Trusting her was the first and most fatal mistake I made. Not one I would make again. I lost a lot of good people that day.”

Looking at the seer, near him, his voice drops. “Any other time, Eve. You know I’d be leading the way through Sawyer’s fleet to get you there,” he has an idea where the crazy woman is going, “but I have family here and people that count on me.” He grins looking around at some of the other captains. “Looks like you got plenty of help to get you there, anyhow, you don’t need me or my Hounds this time.”

The blonde traveler doesn't flinch from Ryans' inspection, simply waiting for him to make his assessment and give his answer. The fact that Elisabeth trusts his assessment unquestioningly might be an interesting realization for some. "Then negotiation is a waste of time. We'll be too busy watching our backs instead of paying attention to the goal." There's a nod to Odessa, who seems of the same mind. Her blue eyes skim the others in the room and she asks Eve, "It seems to me we'll be better served keeping the incursion team small. The Forthright, the Featherweight, the Sayonara, the Oar Place… Is that enough boats to carry everyone who needs to get where we're going…. And the people who'll need to come back?" Because it won't, God willing, be the same group of people both directions. Eve's thoughts on how many people might be returning from the Ark could be important.

Elisabeth's next words are more aimed at Ryans but they're also meant for all the others here as well. "With a small group like that, if several other ships would be willing to act as decoys to pull Sawyer's people off their lines and allow the rest of us to get past without drawing attention, we can basically play blockade runner. Then the decoys can turn tail and get back to help the defense of the Pelago once we're past." It's a sound strategy … but it could be dicey depending on how many ships Sawyer has in her fleet. "If you don't mind taking the time after the meeting to bring me up to speed on the numbers we're looking at in Sawyer's fleet, we can come up with a couple of ways to make it work. I'm not versed enough on water-based combat or on the specifics of Sawyer's resources to come up with a tactical plan that I feel entirely comfortable with."

The telepath’s blue eyes hood as she quietly listens to the others, idly slipping her hands into her pockets. While Soleil seems passive on the surface, she’s busy listening to the thoughts of those around her, with her teeth knitting at her lower lip all the while.

“I know all of these boats,” she interjects with that faint French accent of hers, “and the Sayonara is the fastest — and the most likely to outrun Sawyer’s fleet.” She turns to peer thoughtfully at the travellers, her gaze finally settling on Elisabeth. I’d recommend that you, Magnes, and your families ride with me. She sends this into the mind of the audiokinetic alone.

Then, she glances toward Eve. “Some extra weapons would be helpful, if anyone would like to allow us to borrow them.” The Sayonara has never actually seen combat, since Remi’s main policy with conflict is to run away.

"I heard someone was talking about fighting pirates? How positively Peter Pan of you all…" A jovial voice from near the entrance, where a broad-shouldered figure wearing an outrageously over-the-top admiral's hat and a patched-up long blue coat like a mummer’s attempt at a sea captain’s garment has just walked into the room, a broad and crooked smile upon the man's face and his broad hands spreading to either side of him, eyes wide with interest, "I hope you've brought a clock to deal with Captain Sawyer. Or a crocodile. I suppose I could offer some help, I do owe Captain Ryans that much— hi, Ben, how're tricks, how's the family, read any good books lately?"

Eric Doyle hasn't come alone to the observation deck, although he may well have managed that entrance by making the guards let him in. To one side, a slender young Indian woman with long dark hair stands, and to the other, a young hispanic woman with frizzy curls, both dressed in more reasonable sea-going clothes than the puppeteer.

Some people, it seems, find each other in any timeline.

“Oh my god,” Captain Daselles mumbles as he scrubs his hand across his face, seeing Doyle arrive. “The kiddie barge’s just rolled on in.”

Eric’s appearance elicits a sidelong look from Walter, who then turns his attention back to the conversation, wringing his hands and squaring his shoulders as he considers the plight of the people in this place and time. The Vanguard are essentially barreling down on them, and Walter is turning to the exit. The thought twists his gut.

“If we’re fighting the Sentinel,” Adam chimes in, pausing to see if Ryans comes to his senses. When he doesn't, Adam’s expression flattens and he continues, “We’ll want to recruit assistance from the Palisades Sill. The folks who turned their noses up at Kazimir Volken are holed up out there and have enough firepower to maybe make the difference. They know they'll be next when the Sentinel is done with us. We just… need to convince them fighting is a fair sight better than their area of expertise: running.”

“We don't bloody well have many weapons,” Woods explains as he runs his hands through his hair. “Most of our guns ran out of ammunition a while back, but we might be able t’barter with people like Lowe t’get some. Sawyer’s armed, has at least ten ships to her name, all different sizes.”

“But the problem is home turf,” Woods waves one hand vaguely to the north. “We’d be sailing straight into the bloody Stormfront. Sawyer’s crew knows how t’maneuver in that mess. Those winds…” Woods eyes Remi. “Your ship’s either gonna take off or sink. An’ I'm not sure which. But…”

Exhaling a sharp breath, he shakes his head. “My first mate’s run with Sawyer in the past. Best we've got on our side are… special abilities.” He eyes Elisabeth for a moment, then Mateo. “Otherwise it's fucking machetes and knives and what guns we can get our hands on.”

Others seem less convinced. Out of the two dozen captains present, most have remained silent, but a growing thread of discontent is rising within them.

Magnes stares at Adam for a long moment, mostly because he hadn't seen Adam in a very long time, even before he left his world. "If we're going to strategize, then I think we do need to figure out what abilities we have at our disposal. And I think there's a chance that I could talk the other Magnes, the older one, into helping you all defend this place. I mean, he lives here too."

"I'm kind of having trouble imagining that sinking ships would be particularly difficult for me." he points out with a bit of a shrug. "But either way, let's lay the abilities of people on each side out on the table, the people going through Sawyer's territory, and the people staying. That might help us a lot. At least, the major strategic abilities."

He starts to consider a few thing, hands behind his back now. "Kazimir Volken has thoroughly read military strategy, he knows The Art of War like the back of his hand, and he forces his people to read the same things. He's also incredibly adept at adapting to his circumstances and making the best of an incredibly shitty situation. So anyone staying behind will have to treat this like you're fighting an incredibly well-oiled military."

His gaze shifts back to Adam. "Adam Monroe should probably know all about military strategy by now, but also he's a prime candidate for possession if anyone actually manages to kill Kazimir." Looking around, not quite sure who to ask, he finally says, "Who was Kazimir's last known host? Meaning, whose body is he in?"

Then, looking to Elisabeth, as if she might have the answer to this, "And, something I've never quite figured out, can he leave his host body voluntarily, or does it have to be when the host is about to die?"

Elisabeth's no more happy about the idea that they're leaving these people to fight alone than Walter is, despite the fact that she's been here a lot less time than he. Her eyes are skimming the speakers each time a point is brought up, and a single brow quirks at Woods. Her mother ran with Sawyer? Blowing out a slow breath, she murmurs in a low tone to Magnes, "Now is when I want Jaiden so very, very much." The man's water manipulation ability would hellaciously useful here. She saw what he did in Alaska — what he could do on an ocean boggles the mind.

Sawyer is one problem. The Sentinel is a whole different ball of wax.

And then Magnes is throwing a lot of information that Liz is pretty sure the people of this world do not have out onto the table. She gives him the Glare and she'd Gibbs-slap him were he just a bit closer. If he's not sure what he did to earn that, well… she'll whap him later. For now, all she can do is roll her eyes. "Volken himself … as far as I know, he was just another host for the power we're discussing here. He's also just a fucking hideously strong personality too. Similar to the way Abby wasn't really the owner of the healing power. She could use it, but originally someone else had it." She shrugs a little. That's basically the extent of what she knows about any of that — and she only knows that much from extrapolating from what she knows for sure of the power Abby and Francois had and watching what happened when Gabriel had the power of Volken. The query about whether they know who is in possession of that ability (and Volken's personality) now, Liz can't even begin to address. "As to whether he has to die? No clue."

Elisabeth pauses and just looks at the group. She's lived this damn mess in more worlds… "If people who have abilities with offensive capabilities will stand up and fight, you have enough military know-how," her gaze skims to Ryans and Adam, though she's well aware there are others, "to give them a down-and-dirty training on how to scuttle ships. Between that and whatever firepower you can pull together, you do have some chance of repelling them. Not easily… and likely not without significant casualties. But ultimately… you're running out of places to run." Her tone is quiet, not accusatory. She doesn't blame them for wanting to just evacuate and hide until the threat is gone. The problem is… it's never gone.

For a long moment, Ruiz stays silent, though his eyes do find the two young women with Doyle and his heart clenches. At least in one world Denisa still lived. He had liked both the girls, though there seemed to be a ful of Mala’s left— in the four worlds they have travelled, this was the only one where the young latina still lived. The more they talk about this Sentinel, the more he really wants to stay. But he would not even if he had to. He had to find his son. So since he can’t stay… He wanted to help in any way if he could.

“If I may,” he speaks up, though his voice is quieter than others had been. “If they have followed their original orders and purged the Evolved among their ranks when they succeeded in their primary mission,” which it seemed had been a Flood in this world. “You should have a distinct advantage in that area.”

Assuming they had not driven too many of them away already. After all, they had been given warnings about not showing their abilities for fear they might be driven out.

“Mateo’s right. People here will fight for their homes and they have the power to do it. But… it’s going to be messy.” Lynette runs her hands through Evie’s hair— the girl seems all too comfortable with battle plans and consequences being tossed around in front of her. “That goes for Sawyer, too. I can use the portals to keep her fleets confused, it might help us sneak through if negotiations truly aren’t an option.”

Although she seems to believe that even extremists can be reasoned with, at least in Veronica’s case. Less so the genocidal ones.

Honestly, after so many years, Adam should know the old man by now. Once he’s set his mind on something. “I like that idea,” Ben states, pointing at Adam. “Agree. I think a trip to the Palisades is in order.” There is a small tip up at the corner of his mouth at Wood’s suggestion. “I already planned to go talk to Lowe.”

Whatever other thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of Doyle. “Eric,” he offers with a touch of fondness, the girls noted. “Been awhile, JR asks about you often. Loved the stories when you were still crew. I see the girls have grown like weeds. Denisa, Mala.” He greets each of the girls with a nod of his head.

But then his attention gets pulled away, a look goes from unfamiliar face to unfamiliar face as they speak, brows furrowing a bit with confusion. Finally Captain Ben Ryans turns to Eve and asks simply and quietly enough just for her, “Eve. Who are these people, exactly?” Not everyone is up on the gossip.

Odessa lifts her chin and her voice on the topic of Kazimir Volken’s ability. “Without the other conduit, there’s no means of containment for that power beyond another host.” Not that she’s aware of, anyway. She looks down to her feet for a moment, running her tongue over her teeth. “It nearly chose me once. I’m not keen to see if it still finds me a compelling option. Nor should any of you.”

Her gaze shifts around the room. Not to look for defiance or conviction, but to make it less obvious that she wants a better look at Adam Monroe and Eric Doyle. The fingers of her right hand curl in toward her palm. Normally this would be a fidget to do with her power. Right now? She’s imagining her husband’s hand in hers to give her strength to get through this.

Before he even walks through the door, Remi’s eyes turn to watch Doyle make his entrance with a small smile on her face. Crazy though he is, she can’t help but be fond of him, in a rather reserved way — the man is insane, and he hits on her frequently, but he cares about the kids under his charge.

Then, the telepath’s eyes track each person as they speak; this is the first she’s heard about this conduit, so she simply listens intently rather than speaking up. Woods’ speculation about her boat, however, prompts her to raise her eyebrows. “I have weathered plenty of storms. She will take off, especially if I have extra hands.” And she will be putting anyone who boards her ship to work, especially when it comes to the stormfront.

“All the same, Varlane should at the very least ride in the Sayonara.” She glances to Magnes, raising a brow. “I’m sure he and his ability will be a great boon on my lightweight ship.” Read: he can make sure they don’t get capsized by the winds and waves.

The older woman of the group cracks a wild smile and nods her head, "Very GOOD!" Clapping her hands together, volunteers. More than a few, "We will make do with weapons, we have plenty of gifts split between us mmm?" Mad Eve rocks forward and backwards as the others speak and deliberate, her thoughts a wild maelstrom of chaos reverberating in Remi's range. Whispers seep out slowly like molasses and sometimes reversed, Take the plunge. A twitch in the corner of Eve's mouth as her hard gaze falls on Magnes when speak of the Devil himself comes to the table, her features grows grave and the flicker of a hushed whisper echoes through her mind. Peter.

"…The Black Death was last seen corrupting a friend of mine," the girls of the Forthright look worriedly to Monica, whenever she brings this up it doesn't go well for her. "There wasn't anything to do to save him.. no echoes could bring me enough insight." Regret etched on her face and thoughts, Eve sounds as old as she looks now, burdened by guilt that she shouldn't be carrying. "Peter didn't deserve that." Nobody did.

A quiet moment for the woman and she fidgets until Ryans asks just where the people they are shepherding are from, a quick look over to Liz and Magnes and Eve weighs very visibly on her face just what she wants to say. "They have distant family over in Holland," nervous glance and then she whispers into Ryans ear, "Not a word or I'll haunt you for the rest of your days."

"…Travelers. Not from now. When, their When isn't this when. You follow me. I wouldn't lie to you about this. Too.. many souls on the line. We don't have many to spare. Not like before.." Eve squeezes his arm. "More later Benjamin." That's how he knows, she's serious. "Don't worry about the Stormfront!" A loud call over her shoulder, "If we've been through, you can. With the added help," a look over to Magnes, "Pizza Boy," a wink, "We must talk later."

As one with little nautical experience, combat experience, and, honestly, not much experience outside of being a professional researcher, Cassandra feels very much like the fifth wheel in all of this. She’s tagging along with Elisabeth and company to whatever fate awaits them - that’s the end goal, after all - to get back to a more comfortable and normal when, as Eve puts it. Actually quite well, she thinks to herself. She continues to hang out near Elisabeth as new people arrive and the conversation moves from topic to topic, from the boats to the conduit - whatever that is - to the black death, to the stormfront that’s raging in the north where they’re supposed to be heading.

She just hopes that they’ll all make it through this okay.

You’re out of your goddamn minds!” The old sailor Myron screams over the many voices. “The Sentinel’s going to lay this entire fucking city flat, just like they did in Virginia, and you— ” he wheels around, breathlessly, looking to Eve. “You’re leading these people in the fucking jaws of death!

Other sailors and captains join in a raucous shouting, devolving into insults, frightened looks, and divisions forming among those who wish to stay and fight and those who will flee. One by one, captains are moving to Ryans’ side of the room, voices raised in support of his decision to defend the Pelago of Manhattan against an incursion of Kazimir Volken’s remnants. But discussion of conduits and hosts goes largely unnoticed by most of the salts present in the meeting, save for at least one.

Adam offers a side-eye at Elisabeth, then Eve, and quietly makes his way into the crowd. There’s a knowing look delivered to Ryans, one that all but begs that they have another conversation some time later. Ryans, in turn, knows that look full well. Adam has a plan.

“Okay, tide’s turning,” Walter says anxiously as he moves over to Elisabeth’s side. “I think this is going to turn into a fucking fist-fight soon, we might want to get while the getting is good.”

Elisabeth simply nods to Walter. She doesn't miss Adam Monroe's glance her way and she meets his eyes for a split second when he does it. I see you. What it may mean … is likely nothing. A simple acknowledgment. "Yeah," she replies quietly to Walter, her eyes turning to his face. She sees a lot of his father in him. It makes her smile sometimes. "Whatever happens from here… we'll do what we can to help them prep before we go," she promises him. But we're not staying.

Turning on her heel, Elisabeth shoves her hands into her coat pockets and starts to make her way off the observation deck. Even now, knowing where they stand, it's a view of a world she doesn't want to know. "I need to get back to Aurora… and whatever time remains, I'd like to spend as much of it as I can with my mother." She doesn't know yet if Carina will choose to go with them or remain. She's not sure she's ready for that answer. "Hopefully Ryans will want to talk." Because she's very much like to get his thoughts on how best to deal with Sawyer's fleet.

Things are starting to get a bit too much for Remi — people are getting a bit loud, and Walter seems to have the right idea here. Remi glances toward the audiokinetic briefly, then toward the group. After a moment, she reaches out, placing a hand gently on Eve’s shoulder. Talk to me later, my sweet friend.

And then, the telepath sweeps her way to the exits, shoving her hand into her pockets to leave the other captains to argue. Her stance is clear — she’s with the travelers.

Monica tenses up at the mention of Peter. It was a bad day, when she had to watch what happened to her friend, being powerless to stop it. For all her skills, every so often she’s reminded that she’s not all powerful. And in Peter’s case, the reminder never leaves her. Not anymore.

So she’s grateful that most people seem more interested in fighting than talking about the Conduits. In truth, she would rather go face the Sentinel herself, but she goes where her captain goes.

“Eve. We better go before I try smacking a spine into some of these so-called captains.”

Lynette stands when Liz moves to leave, propping Evie up on her hip. She looks to Ruiz and Odessa, ready to go if they are. Although when she turns away, it isn’t the exit she looks to. It’s Eve.

When Eve moves to whisper in his ear, Benjamin folds his tall form so that he can comes down closer to her level. Whatever she whispers gets a look of surprise. He starts to ask her something, but stops himself. Only nods at her mention of later, but his gaze shifts to the strangers with a new sort of curiosity.

Then things seems to explode and his attention has to go to what’s happening. Any captains that seem to be going to blows, Ryans gives a frustrated growl and they will find themselves separated by an invisible force.

However, as each captain voices their support for Ryans and moves towards him, the captain of the Cerberus acknowledges what their doing, grasping arms here and there in a sign of respect. Only distracted when he sees Adam slip again, a brow tipping up slightly and he gives a slight nod. They would talk later.

They got the boats and Ruiz offered what little advice he could to prepare them. He didn’t know Sentinel, but he knew what Vanguard was capable of. And what they had done in his world. This kind of panic was well known. They would stand and fight and possibly all die. But fighting was better than the alternative. There was nothing they could do now.

“Let’s go,” he nods to his wife, leaving before they start screaming at each other. More than they already are.

He hopes they save some of that energy for Sentinel.

"It's unfortunate that Kazimir is in Peter." Magnes says without really adding much to express why that sentence has the grave tone that it does, as if it's something causing him to waver other than fear. "But Peter isn't immortal. And while the conduit might be, there are only so many hosts that could truly cause as much damage."

He takes a deep breath, clearly trying to keep his cool for whatever reason. "I'll talk to someone about addressing the Kazimir situation, I might have a way to stop him. The rest I'll leave up to everyone else."

Winding an invisible thread around her fingers Odessa is about to yank when Ryans shoves two bickering captains apart with his mind.

“Well,” she murmurs, “that’s an interesting turn.” Flexing her fingers and feeling that thread slip away again, she trusts that the ship-runners have things well in hand. This isn’t likely the first time they’ve had to fight out a disagreement anyway. Far be it from her to stop them while her own are retreating without pursuit. One last lingering look is cast to Adam before she finally turns her back to follow her family out.

"Many a fool have followed me before and many a fool will follow me still!" Slamming her staff down into the ground with an audible crack she winks over at the flabbergasted captain and at Ryans, "Get outta here Cowboy, I'll come to you!" Eve reaches out to take Monica's arm for support, "Ah I suppose you're right but let me tell you, we could make quick work of them and take all of their purses. I have thing thingado-" she's stopped short by Lynette's gaze and the old woman stops and looks sadly in her direction. "Ghosts, ghosts all around, unnerving isn't it?"

"Meet me in my cabin Pizza Boy, you too Elisabeth. We can speak of depressing times." That's all she had around her usually. The trio of women from the Forthright along with Monica and Eve begin to shuffle their way out, the older woman busy fussing with something in the folds of her robe, "Ahhhhaaaaaaa mmm yes." Licking her lips she flicks a lighter and quickly rolls two things into the center of the crowd. Black smoke billows out from both of the tiny black orbs.

As mad Eve passes by, Cassandra steps away from Elisabeth to stand a little closer. “Um, Eve? You don't know me, but….here.” The package of whatever it is is held out, wrapped in a red kerchief, for Eve to take. “The person who sent this said you would need these, since the green doesn't grow very well in flooded streets. Whatever that means.” The package has a little bulk to it.

The two smoke bombs give off thin tendrils of smoke that don't do much to fill the room. It's mostly just weird which is entirely on-brand for Mad Eve. As the commotion of her departure and Cassandra’s following of the insane captain dies down, the captains all seem content to break up. Those who sided with Ryans remain steady in their position, those who vowed to travel with Eve follow her smoky leave, and the undecided majority look on with troubled, wary stares.

They all know what is at stake for the Pelago, for the future of their world.

And they know what's coming.


Some Time Later


There are few lights on in these gray metal halls. The darkened corridors are lit by sparsely placed ceiling-mounted fluorescent lights. Two men in gray uniforms bearing the sigil of a wolf’s head with a third eye in its brow walk side by side down the corridor, boots clanking on the metal grating of the floor. They pause, see someone coming, and step aside to salute.

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Moving with a brisk confidence, Confessor Martin Crowley carries himself with certainty and presence. His black wool greatcoat glints with beaded rainwater on the shoulders and likewise in his long hair. When he's past the soldiers then stand at ease and anxiously eye each other nervously.

Crowley emerges through a doorway into a radio room, likewise kept at a low light level with metal horizontal blinds drawn down over the windows. «Hello C20. This is C21, message over.» Chatter fills the radio room where a half dozen young men and women sit behind communications terminals with headphones on. Crowley steps into the room, moving to a metal railing overlooking the comms area, and searches for someone.

Spotting an older man in glasses standing in observation of the younger radio technicians, Crowley starts to make his way over. «C20 this is C21, we hear you. Report.»

“I have need of you.” Crowley says without context to the radio room’s overseer. The taller man pivots, dim ceiling lights reflected in his glasses. “I need you to take a team of five and a patrol boat and make for Manhattan in advance of the fleet.”

The tall man raises one brow, arms crossed over his chest. “And to what do I owe this particular honor?” It's a touch acerbic, but Crowley doesn't acknowledge it.

“It's about time you earn a name,” is the Confessor’s answer, which elicits a pleased smile from the officer. “Succeed at this, and you'll be one of the Sentinel, officially.”

“Consider it done then,” is his easy response. “When do I depart?”

Now,” Crowley says, looking the man up and down. “And Bennett?” He raises one brow. “Don't disappoint me.”

Never, sir.

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