Stronghold, Part I

Participants:

abby6_icon.gif delilah_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title Stronghold, Part I
Synopsis Three members of the Ferry's scouting party discover that there's more to one of the properties on Delia's list than meets the eye and resolve to return better prepared for exploration.
Date February 19, 2011

Long Island City: Railyard


The skull and crossbones spray-painted over the No Trespassing sign hanging on the front gates of the railyard is the first indication the Ferry's scouting party receives that there may be more to this property than Delia's research was able to divine, but a pair of bolt cutters makes short work of the rusted length of metal chain holding the gates closed. Like most of the neighborhood, largely commercial rather than residential, the railyard and the warehouse on the property (not a factory, after all) haven't seen use for many years, and the thick blanket of snow covering everything makes it difficult to distinguish old shipping containers from broken-down railcars except for those with their sliding doors left open, allowing the women to see straight through them.

A derelict crane with a hook the size of a man hanging from it suggests that this was once a shipping facility owned by a middlemen rather than a singular company putting out a specific kind of product, and has been abandoned so long the name that was once displayed on the side of the warehouse has faded to the point of being illegible.

Shoes crunch through gravel and snow occasionally coming into contact with something harder beneath the ice — sometimes it's part of the tracks and sometimes it isn't. They won't know until spring the full extent of what's available to them, but looking at the warehouse is at least a good place to start after establishing that the property is completely surrounded by razor wire and provides plenty of exterior cover.

There's a special place in Abby's heart for locations like this. Derelict warehouses - not Factories!!! - Shipping containers and cranes. It's a place that she doesn't like to visit and has shoved far down deep in herself that she had thought that she would no longer really have issues with.

Except she does, and she is, if the placement of herself in the middle of the group and the length of time that any snow that falls actually remains on her shoulders before dissipating into water is any indication. She steps along with the others, feet sinking into the snow, kicking and scuffing at things with her feet that are hidden to reveal what they are, whether useful or to be ignored. For all too that there's been the word of H5N10, she's also not wearing a mask or gloves. If she hasn't got it by now, then she's not carrying and feels safe in her - self thought – immunity.

Packing light for this kind of trip is a necessity. While Delilah internally debated bringing Samson along, the last impression of subtlety that she got led her to leave him at home, and pack practical for an essential 'excursion'. Most everything is inside a pack slung over her chest, though she has a small flashlight readily in hand, and a stun gun in her coat pocket. Her hair is tied back and she is wearing a baseball cap over the knot at the back of her head- perhaps because she thinks the red hair is too telling should someone be watching them move to or from the destination. The rest of her is similarly utilitarian- boots and jeans, gloves and her coat zippered most of the way up.

She is quite bold in her movements; moreso than Abby, who seems to stick slightly behind. There is still obvious caution in her steps, however, as she checks to make sure that the camera in her other pocket is still there- she wanted to make sure to get photos of the outer areas first, so she did exactly that.

To be entirely honest, this was better than what Quinn had been expecting when she'd been informed that they were going to be looking into some sort of factory. Not that a warehouse is really much better, but it kind of is, really. It was certainly less foreboding, if nothing else.

With Abby in the middle and Delilah decided to slip behind a bit, Quinn is somewhat unexpectedly (to her) left to take point. Which if fine, given her status as a human flashlight, but rather than form a beam of light to light the way, the musician merely emanates a dull glow - just enough to let them see around themselves, but hopefully not as attention grabbing as a long beam of light. She's dressed in still jeans, a t-shirt, and despite the snow a somewhat heavy leather jacket given to her Ygraine. Not the most comfortable thing to her, but better then bouncing about in her coat or hoodie.

The sky is clear and the moon full — what light Quinn does not provide is reflected off the snow around them, making skin pale and eyes bright, though they don't seem to need to worry about being caught. The street on the other side of the fence is quiet, and when the first patrol truck appears, its headlights sweep across the side of the warehouse, illuminating the faded paint, but do not catch on the open gate or the broken chain. One of the cars shields the scouting party from view, and if any of the soldiers in the back of the truck happen to glimpse them by chance, they mistake their shapes for shadows cast by the strange, alien formations the shipping containers make.

Then the truck is gone, having rounded the nearest corner, swallowed up by the dark.

The warehouse itself, like the front gates, is locked, but it's an arbitrary gesture; anyone who wants to gain access to the building only has to climb a rickety metal ladder attached to the brick siding and enter through one of the broken skylights, though most of the glass on the roof and set into the walls is still intact.

Whether they want to use the boltcutters on the main doors or enter via the roof is the first real decision they'll have to make.

The night is too still. Maybe Sable was wrong.

front door with bolt cutters or ladder. Front door… ladder.

Oh the dilemma.

"Cut it" If they're going to need a way out and quick, the door will rankly be the way. ladder secondary. Always have an exit strategy. Eileen would be proud of Abigail.

Maybe

Okay maybe not. Abby's not a telepath and her reading of Eileen is often very hit or miss. Such is the nature of her council mate. She gestures for whomevers got the bolt cutters. "So we can make an easy break for it if we have to. I like that most of the windows are still intact. Will help with weather" She takes note of what time the patrol passes by, fiddling with her watch to start a timer. See how long - that they'll notice - of the frequency of patrols.

It's a weird experience to watch the patrol roll past in the distance, and know that while you can see them, they can't see you. She sidles closer to the others when it does, though, ears perking when Abby judges the situation for them. The bolt cutters that Dee has hanging from the strap of her bag get hefted up and positioned quite deftly around the metal hook of the lock. Delilah is the biggest one here- not to say anything bad about it- and seems to have been given duty of chomping things with the cutters. Probably reaching tall things, should it come around to it.

CLANK-

-the lock winches at the hook and cracks apart, and Delilah is there to grab it and wag it out of the door, only to promptly shove it into a pocket.

"Done and done, Abs."

"Gotta love old rusted locks," Quinn comments dryly as she watches Dee take it out with no prolonged effort at all. She takes a moment to look back over her shoulder, a half smile on her face. "I'd rather do this than have t' make a bunch a' noise breakin' a window t' get in anyway. Wonder how new those things are anyway…" She shrugs a bit, turning her attention back down to Delilah and Abby. The glow coming from her strengthens a bit as she looks between the two, the door, and-

"Not it."

Meant jokingly of course, but she really isn't sure she wants to be the first one to step into an abandoned warehouse.

Not it. Since when was this a game of <bleeping> tag? Abigail glances to Delilah, but… she has a baby. Curse you Walter. Curse you. So Abigail just sighs, softly, tucking her head down a bit and squaring her shoulders, passing her backpack to the others - just in case of woosh - letting her flashlight flare to life and puts her hand on the door.

The light hits the floor first, then Abby's head, peeping through as if this were some episode of scooby doo and Daphne is sticking her head in to see whether the monster is inside. "You guy do know that I was kept in a shipping container in a warehouse on Staten Island right?" Right? Her voice a whisper. It's soon followed by the rest of her sliding in. Going woosh might not be a bad thing, it would do her better to see if there were people. However it would also burn their potential new safehouse down to the ground.

"Hello? Anyone here? At all? Hiding?"

"The difference now is that you've got us. We're here." Delilah whispers to Abby as she takes the bag, a calm little reassuring smile on her lips. The power of friendship! Or something like that. "You'll be alright." The redhead's whisper trails after her as she is the first one to peek inside. Delilah, ever so subtle, peeks up above Abby's head as best she can. It doesn't help much, but the gesture is there- she's ready to slip in if Abby can't quite stand going in first. She would have, but Abby has that weird Southern honor code thing going on.

For her cause, Dee is still holding the bolt cutters in her left hand, as if she might need to use them for something again- and not always cutting! Goodness knows it makes a good club, right?

Her largely relaxed posture finally fading, Quinn stiffens noticeably as Abby pushes the door open, ready to venture with in. When the flashlight flares to life, Quinn lets her own glow fade in favour of widening the beam of light the device produces. Fingers waggling, she hooks her thumbs into the belt loops of her jeans and silently leans forward opposite Delilah, trying to peek in herself so she can see what waits inside. Hopefully, the worst they would find would be rats, spiders - pests they didn't have to worry that terribly much about.

Hopefully.

Abby's light and the glow Quinn sheds reveals a large, open floorplan with only a pile of snow in one corner where several of the skylights gave way beneath its combined weight, and it's some sort of miracle the storms last year didn't blow out all the glass — the warehouse's solid structure and the metal support beams spanning from one side to the other can credit for the fact that it's still standing with only minimal damage to the interior. Up in the exposed rafters, one level above a catwalk that provides access to a second floor and what appears to be a series of rooms with a view of the warehouse floor, something with wings makes a sharp crackling sound and turns a pair of glittering red eyes on the women below.

The goshawk parts it beak around a shrill hiss that sounds like a warning but does not move from its perch except to adjust its grip on the dead pigeon dangling from one of its claws, its neck broken and head lolling. Its wings mantle, protecting its kill, though it seems more interested in stripping the pigeon of feathers than it does telling the Ferrymen to fuck off.

A ladder leads up to the second floor catwalk and the rooms attached, which could feasibly be converted to living quarters if the network chooses the warehouse and railyard for its next safehouse, but there appears to be a stairwell leading into a basement that could serve a similar purpose as well.

One thing they wouldn't have to worry about is storage.

There are probably rats.

Definitely spiders.

Up and around goes the light, moving in proper and giving the goshawk barely a glance. Though her mind imagines a tingle on her cheek where the last run in with a bird left it's quickly fading mark. Over the rooms that could double a residence, she moves towards the center, flicking her light left, right, against the walls and anything left against them. "We could go downstairs" She murmurs to the others. "So far, just a little work. Be harder here in the winter to keep it warm but… we'd have a year to get it good enough"

Delilah sticks out the tip of her tongue at the goshawk when it postures at them, letting out a faint 'pbbt'. Talking to birds might be weird if they didn't have friends that did. Maybe it's still weird. She looks up as they creep inside, inspecting the catwalk and the rooms attached. She also keeps fairly quiet. "I wonder if that is safe to walk on? It looks alright from here…"

Dee clicks her own light on after bringing it out of her bag and hooking the cutters back onto her satchel. "Downstairs, or up? Downstairs will be easier, though there are probably old offices up there." If other warehouses and such have anything to say about this one's layout. "If it was abandoned, and not closed up, there might be stuff to find."

Quinn's eyes - and her own beam of light - are aimed largely at the upper parts of the warehouse. "I don't know if I want to find anything that could be sitting here. I also know we're not splitting u;. I've seen too much Scooby Doo t' go with that plan," she says as she looks back at Abby over her shoulder, clicking her tongue twice as her eyes move up to the goshawk. "That's going t' have t' go, though. Makes me kinda nervous."

Tapping her foot once, she nods and turns back to face them. "I say downstairs. Kinda scared t' go upstairs without some kinda of better support. Who knows how long it's been since anyone tended t' those walkways…"

"This is the part where, we're watching people on TV do this and we scream at the television Abigail Do not go down the stairs!" But she's doing that, the EMT heading for there, dark hair snuffy and in need of a haircut, flashlight keeping pace with her steps. "Birds can be dealt with easily if this becomes the place we want to go. Eileen can have a conversation and we'll want birds, birds would make good warning, better than any security camera's" She points out, peering down the stairwell before she goes first.

Once again.

This is why council members get paid boucoup bucks.

Read that as none.

"Then you also know that they always get away after they find the monster." Delilah grins at Quinn, laughing a bit. "I always wanted to see Eileen and pigeons… you know, it can be like- the Immigrant song, and pigeons in the sky, cooing and warbling of doooooom…" The redhead scuffs lightly after Abby now, taking a sweeping glance around with her light to breeze over walls and floor. "And think of all the shit bombs."

Being a step or two behind Abby as they get to the stairs, Delilah scans her own light up above the firebug, to glean over the top and sides of the stairwell, trying to give as much a look as they can get.

"Yeah, but I don't think the people on TV spontaneously combust either, Abby. We're probably good," Quinn muses, grinning at Delilah. "They get away, but why even encourage the moster t' begin with? Strength in numbers an' alla that. Besides, we're not even a good Scooby-Doo gang, you'd've need t've brought Samson for that," But again, it seems like a more appropriate time to grow silent as Quinn turns her glowing hand towards their intended path, this time getting to bring up the rear.

The spot people always disappear form the group in. Oops.

Two things happen at the same time. Abigail takes that first step down the stairs leading to the basement, and the goshawk abandons its meal, kicking off the rafters with a forceful snap of its wings. Gravity does most of the work for the large predator bird — all it has to do is spread itself open wide and drop like a rock onto the top of her head, feet tangling in her hair and claws splitting open her scalp several inches above her left ear.

Blood runs hot down the side of the brunette's face, carving an angry trail along cheek and throat, some of it gathering in the corner of her mouth an eye. The pigeon hits the ground a moment later, and from that height the impact sounds like the crack of a gunshot — a spectacular BOOM that resonates through the entire facility.

If Delilah and Quinn aren't too busy helping Abby get the hawk out of her hair, they'll see it in the flicker-snap of the torchlight: a series of floss-fine metal wires zig-zagging across the stairs and Abigail's foot a few inches from tangling in the topmost thread. They're spaced far enough apart that they can be navigated, but only with their lights shining down at the ground.

Abigail doesn't see it - bird or wires - till it's too late for the first, letting out her own scream as the goshawk sinks it's claws into her hair and head and the searing pain flares to life. Up goes her hands, trying to swat at the bird with her flashlight, turning on her heel, back away from where they were going - an those wires - pushing past Quinn and Delilah. It's not the bird that forces her that way in truth, Delilah and Quinn can feel it, the buildings heat off the brunette as she barrels forth for that door that Abby had said to break as an emergency exit.

Which, the emergency is pretty clear as she starts smoking once she's at the door and once outside, the telltale fwoosh that accompanies her transformation be it planned or unplanned and the ambient light that comes in through the door.

Hopefully, there's also a roastfuckinggoshawk outside too.

One good smack to the goshawk's head with the flashlight dislodges it from Abigail's hair, and it tumbles to the cement at Delilah and Quinn's feet, stunned but still alive if the way it's thrashing its wings and twisting its head around to get a better look at the remaining women is any indication.

The bird lets out another shrill scream of warning, and this time its beak stays open, tongue wagging in a threatening posture that's considerably less intimidating when it's viewed from above instead of below.

Several things happen all at once, and Delilah isn't really processing up until Abby pushes her way out of the stairs, effectively making the other two back up to get away from her. Abby is getting a bit hot, and Dee bets by the time she gets properly away, she's gotta be on fire. Meanwhile, the raptor that wags about on the floor, stunned at one of the top stairs, gets the full brunt of Delilah's jutted, angry look. She glares down it, debating if she has to put it out of its misery or not. It only seems disoriented though, so that will be slightly less bloodshed than is necessary.

"C'mere, y'little shit-" Dee sticks the end of the small light in her teeth and promptly leans down to push one gloved hand down onto the bird's body and grab for its ankles with the other. If it is disoriented enough that Delilah can grab it, she'll be stepping completely away from the stairwell with it. It's like holding onto a chicken, right? Hopefully.

Looks like Quinn was right to not be fond of the looming goshawk. But really, everyone should be wary of looming snacking birds. Either way, when it drives into Abby's hair, Quinn jumps back with a yelp and a flail of her arms, eyes widen. Somewhat reflexively the light she was giving from her hand intensifies, no longer constricted to a beam of light and instead turning her hand into something more akin to a really bright light bulb. "Jesus feckin-"

Then there's the bang, which has her ducking down, bringing her eyelevel with the goshawk as Delilah grabs it. There's a lot going on, and even if she does spy the trip wide, she's too busy remember the last time she saw Abby flare on.

Oh dear.

"Abby, be careful!" Duh? Really, she should be asking if she's okay, but she's more worried about the afformention spontaneous combustion.

The goshawk is rearing back like a cobra about to strike when it sees Delilah bending down to grab it, but the torchlight brightening the Englishwoman's features gives it pause — red eyes flick up to her warm brown ones, as much quiet fury might be behind them, and it stills as her hand comes into contact with its breast, effectively pinning it to the ground while she gets a hold of its feet. Its screaming dies down to a simmering hiss that continuously rasps out from the back of its throat, accompanied by a few feeble thrusts of its wings for show, irritated and hurt.

A glance back down at the stairs and the wires attached to what are probably explosives on the otherside of the steps tells Quinn that whatever is in the basement must be something of value if the warehouse's previous inhabitant has gone to all that work to preserve it and risk bringing down the roof above their heads in the process.

They have another decision to make: Leave now with a bloodied, shuddering Abigail, and come back later with someone more equipped to navigate the stairwell and what lies beyond it, or continue their exploration of the warehouse, either by braving the stairs and venturing into the basement or risking the catwalk to try the rooms on the second floor.

The flashlight in Dee's mouth gets plucked into her fingers again when she has the bird hanging- semi-flapping from its legs. It won't hurt him, and if he wants to peck something it will be her glove. She shines the light on it before hooking the bird up under her arm, pinning it quickly- like a great chicken- under her own wing- so to speak. The flashlight in her hand skips off of the bird to scan the stairwell again, and provided that Quinn isn't still hugging the ground, she'll see the lit look on Dee's face.

"Oh. Well, shit me an egg and call me a duck. Wires. Look, Quinn." The bird could have been nicer about it though. But a shiver runs through her nonetheless. That was perhaps too close.

"Still betting on downstairs being easier?"

Quinn sees them too, looking over from where she's crouched down. She looks back towards the direction Abby ran off in, rubbing her face as she stands back up. "Yeah, I see…" she trails off, rising back slowing to her feet. "That that was that feckin' noise was?" she inquires, looking back at Delilah with a long frown. "I'm bettin' on someone's going t' end up hurt no matter which way go. Fuck, who the hell would do somethin' like this?"

Raising her hand - and the brightness of the light that radiates from it, probably starting to get a little too bright for most people - she peers ahead. "Fuckin' weird. What do you think a' it?" Another look is offered down to the wayward bird, followed with a sigh. "An' should one a' us go check on Abby?"

The roar of fire dies down, faint as it may be and Abigail's soon shuffling in, one arm across her chest, the largest scrap of what remains of her jacket held across part of her that only doctors, husbands and Deckard have ever seen. And her parents. "I'm fine" The original blood burned off, there's a fresh wave of it making it's way down the left side of her face. "I need my bag, clothes, quick, before I freeze my arse off please"

They're girls and while she's modest, she's a little less so in the presence of Delilah. Quid Pro Quo and all that. Only with less other persons hands in places that they shouldn't be. "I don't think I got seen, I tried to kill off the flame fast as possible"

"Quinn, help her, I'm not letting go of this thing right now." Delilah steps right into those honcho boots, doesn't she? She holds out Abby's bag, practically dropping it right in Quinn's hands. "Not til we decide what to do with it. What I think is that we need to come back with someone that isn't as likely to you know, trip and fall down the stairs and kill everyone." She is not terribly confident in her ability to be a ninja-

"Raith or someone else like that, I should think, right? Ex-agent or ex-Vangaurd, somethin'like that?" She sounds fairly convinced of the idea already. "With this little shit doing what he did, I think it's a bad idea to never come back." Meaning, she thinks there's something Eileen-like about this bird- and maybe something important down below.

"Just…" Quinn takes the bag and turns away, frowning. She waves a hand dismissively in the bird's direction. "Hit it again or sometin'. Not like Eileen's here t' yell at us, an' it might get it t' go away." Really, she'd rather help Abby then pin a bird anyway. A look is cast back at the stairwell, wrinkling her nose at it. "You're probably right. I'd take one step and trip my ass right down. I'm sure Raith could handle it well 'nought."

Oh, wait. She has a bag and Abby's out freezing in the snow. Let's fix that! Taking a moment to dull her glow, she forms her hands into a ball, and when she opens them, a little ball of light has formed, left drifting in the air above Delilah to give her a little more light, at least until she gets distracted and it vanishes. The Irishwoman spins on her heel - wobbling a bit, as if to demostrate exactly why she should not attempt those stairs - and starts back out towards Abby. "There's wires in the stairway," she remarks as she approaches, looking away as she offers the bag down to the councilwoman. It would rude of her to stare, after all. "I think we're going t' need some help with this one."

"Wires? Why on earth would anyone put wi- oh" She's been with the Ferry long enough and on the council. It just took a few seconds for it to sink in. The brunette crouches down, drops of blood striking the floor and leaving it's mark while she fishes out new clothes. Jacket was useless but she'd packed a few sweaters, just in case. it would have to do.

"I'm sick and tired of birds coming at me for all angles. First the boat, now here, and there was a creepy bird at the patrol" In goes one arm through a thermal long sleeved shirt, pulling it over her head, trying to avoid as much blood on clothing as possible.

"I'll head to the island, tell Raith and they can come deal with it" Talking while shimmying into layer after layer, pretty much emptying her bag to half. "Quinn, you want to head on up to that level" A gesture to the rooms above since the basement was now off limits. "See if this whole trip isn't somewhat wasted?"

Delilah hugs the bird a bit more firmly when Abby mentions other birds. Not enough to do anything to it, but enough that it probably notices, though doing something probably wouldn't help. Generally, one and a half kilo of hawk doesn't have much luck against seventysomething of girl. "You don't have to though, I know you looked at it a bit funny a minute ago."

"but if you can manage it, you're not naked, and you're not holding a bird, so-" Perhaps it is karma for her saying 'not it' earlier when they broke the lock.

Irony, of course, seems to have dictated her immediate fate, Quinn letting out a bit of a sigh as she steps back into the warehouse. "Yeah, I can check it out up." Of course, the person who was worried most about the safety of those walkways gets to traverse them. Fabulous!

Rolling her shoulders a bit, Quinn slips hands into her pockets as she passes back by Delilah, looking down at her ad the bird. "Just… let it go or put it out of it's misery," she remarks, shaking her head. The little ball of light continues to hover, but with Abby getting up and and about, instead of looming over Delilah, it slowly moves after Quinn, providing her with enough light as she approaches the ladder and begins to pull herself up.

"No" Something's turned over in Abby's mind while dressing and when Quinn states putting the bird out of it's misery or letting it go, Abigail's bolting upright, grabbing her bag and emptying the contents and stalking to Delilah. "No. Don't. Don't put it out of it's misery" there's a strange little smile on the young woman's face, a little weird given the blood. But she drops the bag down to the ground, opening it up as much as possible then reaching carefully for said bird.

"Just… don't you do anything silly"

This is not spoken to Delilah and Abby starts to carefully take the bird from Delilah, her hands covering the other womans with hushed words to the ginger to slip her hands out, her other hand coming up to support the back of the bird. "You listen you. I don't appreciate what you did. If you just saved us from making mince meat out of ourselves, thank you, but you coulda done it some other way other than making me need more stitches, so you are going…" She nods towards the bag. "For a trip because I know a few people who are gonna have a little talk with you. I think you know more than you let on" She coo's to the bird, waiting till Delilah - if Delilah - lets go of the bird and hastily sets about to stuffing it in her pack. Like a chicken in a burlap bag.

"If you behave I'll buy you some mice or a rat for the trip"

"If you see anything like those wires, come right back down." Delilah warns just a little, finding herself a more open spot to possibly deal with the bird. "And it's fine, its just out of it. No misery, I've just got his ankles…" She is not impressed with their ability to gauge animals, obviously. "I think he likes me a bit- be nice, will you-" The redhead, rather than fight for the poor bird, is more able-handed in her aiding Abby to take it up and put it in her pack.

"Birds have hollow bones! Be gentle, fuckin'cripes' sake-" She'll just have to make sure they don't hurt it while they stuff it in there- the pack is plenty big enough, thank goodness. "Are we taking him to Leen? Should we get that pigeon for him? Leave an airhole." Probably, Dee will be fussing with the poor thing the whole time.

Quinn isn't paying any attention to the bird, Abby, or Delilah anymore. She's concentrating, the little ball of light moving slowly to float ahead of her so that she can see if any more of those tripwires are waiting for her as she climbs up. There's a wrinkle of her nose and a grunt as she pulls herself up over the crest of the ladder, moving cautiously the entire time. Lord help her if she slips, or if any of this is as easy to break as that lock on the front door was. Moving the ball of light back down in front of her, she rubs her face a bit as she looks around, hoping there's nothing dangerous that catches her eye.

The first room Quinn is drawn to, catwalk creaking beneath her feet, is the one with door slightly ajar. A hand pushes it the rest of the way open, old hinges creaking, and she casts her light inside to banish the darkness into the farthest corner where it roils and flickers as a shadow.

On one wall, a map of New York City with dusty red push-pins designating a series of key locations with some sort of importance to the individual who hung it there, and on dangling strings that stretch from one side of the window overlooking the warehouse floor to the other, there are old, faded photos hung.

Quinn recognizes Abigail's face staring back at her when she looks, younger and with a slightly fuller mouth, long blonde hair tied back into a ponytail and an apron draped over her neck. Gillian Childs' eyes are comparatively dark, worried, more fearful than the tall, hawkish man with his arm around her waist as they walk together down a street lit by pale white lamps. The man called Flint Deckard is there, too. The many faces of Brian Fulk. Teodoro Laudani. Catherine Chesterfield's lips pressed into a thin, unimpressed line.

But also someone that none of the Ferrymen have seen for a very, very long time.

Helena Dean.


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