Trouble and Monkeys


cooper_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif hailey_icon.gif rhys_icon.gif

Scene Title Trouble and Monkeys
Synopsis While no one is actually in trouble in this scene, this scene is about previous troubles. And monkeys. Or Monkey. Cause Jim is enough.
Date March 5, 2018

Gillian's Brownstone: Elmhurst

It seems like the entire world is sunny, at least in the skies around Elmhurst. The residential area close to the border is home to budding greenery and in Gillian’s back yard in particular, there’s one large tree that’s survived a war. It grows too close to the fence, its root system peeking through the hard packed soil on the other side while its trunk and branches threaten to grow through the fence. Still, its continued survival means something to the people living around here. That even through poverty, war, and famine, life will find a way.

Hailey can’t climb it, so she’s sitting underneath it while her best friend jumps through its branches, nibbling on green shoots and leaf buds. It’s been over a week since he’s been this well fed and months since he’s tasted a green stick. He is without a diaper at the moment, being outside means that he can be free of confining undergarments and his best friend is very good at cleaning up after him. A wondrous occurrence is that they’re both free of fleas, for now. Things might change if when they go back home.

She turns another page. Gillian’s house is a veritable library and since being confined to the Safe Zone and using only one arm, Hailey’s been devouring a book a day. What Gillian doesn’t have, the library does, and that’s just a request away. Right now, Hailey is trying to learn how to make soap.

“Thanks for calling, Gillian.” Cooper comments politely to the woman that owns said house. “It was really great hearing from you.” A slightly nervous glance at that, he hastily adds. “Th…at the young woman was willing to talk to me… uh… us.” Stepping out the door to the back door, he catches it and holds it open for Gillian. Aww… what a gentleman.

“Whoa…” There is a boy-ish fascination in the agent’s voice when he catches sight of Hailey’s friend. Squinting up at the tree, he asks, “Is that a monkey?” Clearly, Cooper is into stating the obvious today.

Thomas Cooper doesn’t look too much like an agent, with his cheap grey suit, blue shirt sans the tie, and his high top converse sneakers… white of course.

“Yes. That’s a monkey,” Gillian responds after a moment. She really should have asked Hailey if Jim could handle an hour in the basement by himself, because she’s not sure the monkey is legally allowed. “It’s a temporary situation. He’d been living in the Bronx, probably the descendant of former zoo animals.” The city had had four zoos when the second Bomb ripped apart the skies above Midtown. Every time she thinks of that bomb, she can’t help but rub the black handprint burned onto her wrist.

“Hai?” She calls out, nodding the blond girl that looks to just be at the edge of adulthood over. “This is Agent Cooper. He’s… a friend.” Her cheeks color— yeah, she’s going to hope they missed that. “He’ll be handling your case. Discreetly.” As off the record as possible, she hopes, but she knows that the answers will probably get taken down. “We want to try to find the men who hurt you. And Jim.” After a moment, she adds as an aside to Agent Cooper, “Jim’s the monkey.”

Before they can get started, she looks at Hailey, “Do you want me to stay?” To offer emotional support and a safety net, probably. But she’s giving the option of privacy, if the girl wants it.

Mnhmm, okay.” A distant voice draws closer, as small as the thin young man attached to it. Belatedly following Agent Cooper out of the house, Rhys Bluthner is more focused on his phone. “Okay sweetie, well, just let me know when we need to be there. Okay, love you.” The immaculately dressed agent in a sleek black suit looks like he's straight out of Reservoir Dogs, if one of those hardened criminals had a baby face and perfectly styled hair.

Gillian,” Rhys greets knowingly, tucking his phone into his pocket. “This is a good space you have here. The old couple that had the place before oh were married for… seventy-three years. Really sweet love story.” The smile Rhys offers at his over-sharing fades when he catches sight of Hailey. If only just.

Hailey slowly folds the book closed and looks up at the two men at the same time that Jim does. He bares his fangs and lets out a loud screech of warning and quickly crawls down the tree to wrap protectively around the empath. Once there, he continues to make his screaming face, though without noise, it’s a threat his people use in the wild.

A nervous glance is given to Gillian and then Hailey nods quickly, but her mouth remains tightly zipped. She had agreed to this but still, the anxiety at this moment is almost palpable. She swallows the dry lump at the back of her throat and manages a quiet, “Hi.”

“Jim, huh?” Cooper gives that a thought and nods his head. “I like it. Good name.” He genuinely means it. “Hello, Hailey.” The man offers back cordially, with a lopsided smile. “I’d offer to shake your hand, but seem like Jim-bo over there, might take my hand off… so if it is okay. I’m just going to stand right here.”

Glancing back at Rhys, Cooper motions to the him and offers to the girl, “And this is Agent Rhys Bluthner. He’ll be working with me on this one.” Gillian also gets a nervous glance at the young man’s oversharing and what that could mean. “At least your place wasn’t a Bordello.” He tries to offers as a way of a joke and to brush off what was just said. The man would not be forgetting that oversharing anytime soon.

“Anyhow, thank you, Hailey… you know for talking to us.” Thomas holds up his hands and offers a bright smile. “And don’t worry. We won’t be hauling you in or anything. That was a whole different government and all I want to to stop these people before they do something worse to someone else.”

“Good afternoon, Rhys,” Gillian responds, remembering the man only because he was memorable. She’d only met him once, that she can recall, but she would never forget that meeting. It made her rub at the skeletal handprint raised on her wrist again. “You’re dressing a lot better these days.” She’s assuming the Lady Gaga like outfit she’d seen him appear in had been his usual attire.

The fact that he’s looking through time and sharing that is not lost on her. But she doesn’t want to think about what else he could see if he looked past a little less. Like, almost a year ago. When her hair had been brown, instead of blonde. Yeah, she’d rather hope he stays in the far past, before she’d ever moved into this house. “It felt loved in when I moved in, so I’m not really surprised.”

With Hailey not answering her question, she moves to pull one of the lawnchairs over so she can sit down, gesturing to the other three. They are free to have them, if they want them. “They’re just going to ask you some questions, Hailey. Try to figure out where you were attacked.” Now that she’s met Coop’s partner, she understands why the location might actually help even more than the descriptions of the attackers.

Rhys walks up beside Gillian, side eyes her clothes with a sad smile. “Sweetie, I wish I could say the same.” There's an apologetic grimace of but what can you do on Rhys’ face that Gillian can't be sure is teasing or not. He doesn't give her the opportunity to inquire further, though, as Rhys walks past her to stand beside and a little behind Cooper.

“Hey,” Rhys offers with a raise of one hand in a small wave. “You must be the bohemian monkey-lady that's the talk of the town.” Lowering the hand, Rhys tucks both into the pockets of his slacks. “Like Coop said, I'm Rhys. I'm a postcognitive, which means I can see into the past. Specifically, I can see into the web of interpersonal relations that makes up a person’s life.” Brows raised, Rhys adds, “Which is nowhere near as cool sounding as being an animal telepath.”

“That would be cool,” Hailey agrees with Rhys as she reaches up to offer the monkey her hand. Taking it, he swings onto the ground and gives the two men a beady eyed state before scampering up the tree again. He stays right above Hailey, perched like a furry little gargoyle and breaks off another stick to continue munching.

The empath glances up at the monkey, to make sure it stays put, before speaking up again. “I was leading Dayton, I think we walked about an hour and a half southwest of the zoo. I know the area but not the street names.” Glancing at Gillian she chews on her lip before speaking again. “There was a guy named Brady, he was talking on the phone to someone he called Puddy Tat.” Taking a deep breath, she lets it go in a long shudder. “They shot the dogs but we found Dayton near…” she pauses there, hesitating for a little while “.. near home.”

Getting a little braver, she squints her eyes slightly at Rhys, “How does it work, do you see everything if you touch me or Jim?”

The comment to Gillian is not missed, when Cooper turns to grab lawn chair, he gives the younger agent an exasperated look, like.. Come on, man… Don’t be a dick. Luckily, he doesn’t say it out loud…. Somehow, by the grace of god, he manages to keep his mouth shut. The chair is retrieved and Cooper sits, extracting his handy dandy notebook. Look, it’s even red.

“He’s right… not really all that cool, especially, when he start repeating things you did, that you’d rather forget about.” Cooper states that rather bright and cheerily. “But to be able to communicate with animals. Much cooler. Far cooler.” He’d love to be able to communicate with his guinea pig, Al.

Details are scribbled down, though his brows furrow at the mention of the dogs. “I am really sorry to hear about the dogs, Hailey. I’ve lost a few pets in my time and those hurt, I can’t even imagine how that was for you.” He looks at what he has written down and asks, “Any shop signs or… ” His hand circles in a thinking gesture, before he snaps his fingers, “landmarks to help us find where you were when you got captured?”

“It’s fine, Coop,” Gillian responds with a grin when she catches the look that the Agent gives his partner. The use of Coop happens automatically, perhaps just a little too personal. “I’m wearing mom clothes now, I know.” Business casual mom clothes, but mom clothes. Sometimes she misses her silky velvety leathery outfits. Sometimes she really, really does.

She does not correct the agent on Hailey’s ability, willing to let them believe she could be a telepath. What she could do was not what was important at this point, just what happened to her. She doesn’t comment further, just nodding to Hailey to let her know she’s doing okay, giving her a look of support.

Rhys is careful to let Cooper lead the investigation while he plays to Hailey’s curiosity and keeps the tone casual. He waits until Cooper has had some time with the girl’s answers before delivering some of his own.

“My ability doesn't work like that.” Rhys explains, and this is more than Cooper or Gillian had ever heard of his power. “I see it all the time. It's like… shadows extending off of you. Some fainter, some darker. They're everyone in your past. I can't see faces, but I see actions, like echoes.”

Rhys frowns softly. “I see the men you're talking about. The impact they made on you. I see someone that I know is Gillian, I see her brother too. All the way back to your beginning.” Rhys carefully avoids the word parents. “It used to overwhelm me. So many shadows, so many emotions and echoes…”

Looking down to the ground, Rhys scuffs the toe of one sleek black shoe into the ground. “But it gets better.” Pale eyes alight to Hailey. “I see your friend, the one who teleports.” His smile comes back. “Her shadow is bright.”

“I don’t know what that means,” Hailey says seriously as Rhys talks about the shadows. “How can shadows be bright? If a shadow is bright, isn’t it just not there?” She’s just an empath, barely educated out of elementary school due to war and Brian’s militia training. Her frustration is evident by the monkey shaking a branch above and screaming at the two men. He is agitated, she is too.

“It’s not really bright, it’s just… It’s— a metaphor,” Rhys chirps, “like the horse.”

Apparently, Hailey is much more literal and isn’t familiar with the Eve meme, “No, Dayton really is a horse, he’s not a metaphor.” Clenching her jaw, she then shakes her head at Coop(er). “No stores. It was apartment buildings, two cross streets to the north and south, and an alley in between. I was in the alley when they found me. They knew I was there because of the rats.” Freaking tattletale rats. She moves closer to Gillian and takes the woman’s hand as she lets loose a sigh. “I don’t have any ID… so they don’t know my name or anything. Just what I can do.”

“That’s good,” Cooper comments about the no ID. “Honestly, there is nothing wrong about that, sometimes it ends up being a good thing in these situations.” He makes a couple of notes, while he thinks about what he is going to say next. “I am sorry that I have to make you bring up all of this again.” He gives her a grin, “It’s not like the TV shows or movies. I’m not going to push anything. No lamp in your face or anything.” Probably not helping….

“So, you got captured and got away on Staten Island?” Cooper asks this after flipping back to a previous page of earlier notes. “Like with where you were captured, is there anything that might help us pinpoint where that happened? Anything that stuck out?”

At Rhys’ mentions of metaphors, Gillian can’t help but let out a small laugh. “You and Eve should definitely meet sometime,” she adds, giving him a grin. She can’t imagine how much weird stuff he can see, how far back he can go. Is that how he’d helped Hiro with the time travel? By reading the effect people had on others pasts? She doesn’t add more, though, nodding to Hailey in an attempt to encourage her to answer the questions and get this done so that she doesn’t have to answer anymore.


Rhys remains quiet now, behind Cooper, watching not the interrogation but the shadows sliding off of Hailey. As Cooper teases out information about the physical, Rhys is seeking answers about the immaterial, the people involved in the scenario in what tenuous and tenebrous ways he can interpret their being. One quick look is leveled at Gillian, brow raised, and Rhys settles his attention back on Hailey.

“I’d need a chaperone,” Rhys quietly notes, “I hear she’s a spitfire.”

“It was by the canal, and a ladder. The rock girl told me where to go and how to find it,” Hailey answers the question as best she can. She frowns deeply and closes her eyes, then just opens them and shakes her head. “The canal, a ladder down there, and I walked for hours to get to Gillian’s. That’s all.”


A small stick lands on Cooper’s head, then another, as Jim starts throwing whatever is within reach, thankfully it’s only small twigs. He shows off his fangs to the two agents again and stands to his full (and very impressive) height to look down at them.

Hailey glances up, “Jim behave.”

He’s only acting out the empath’s impulses, so he screams once at her and then swings around the branch he’s on, showing the two agents exactly who is dominant in this situation. Then, in his frustration, he blows a raspberry and throws another stick toward Cooper.

When the first twig hits, Cooper’s brows furrow a little, while he reached up to pluck the twig from his hair. This is followed by a slow look up at the monkey above him. He stares at Jim, while he flicks the stick aside. Not the smartest move, but… dude! He is trying to help the monkey’s friend here!

All that is done with a tight closed mouth smile. Look, see… not mad.

“Hey, it’s okay,” Cooper says looking back down at Hailey, the smile brightening a little more. The next stick lands on his head, but he ignores it. “It’s more information then when we came here. I’d like to find this rock girl too, maybe.” He spreads his hands,“You know… just to talk.” The stick decides around this time, to slide off the agents head and drop into his lap. His expression goes flat, the stick is also picked up and tossed to the side, with a loose flick of the wrist.

Clearing, his throat… as he was starting to say. “I think I can get a sketch artist to come here… or if you know anyone that can help you make portraits of these guys or the girl.” That last he looks over at Gillian, too, a brow lifts. Does she?

A spitfire Ms Eve certainly is.

“If you need one, I’m pretty decent friends with her. Maybe I can drag you both out for a drink sometime.” Gillian offers Rhys a smile, even if she finds herself rubbing her wrist as she looks at him again. There’d been a certain person involved in their previous meeting with each other, after all. So very long ago.

And she has to admit he hasn’t really aged at all. He looked just like she remembered him. Except the clothes.

“Yes, Jim, we know you’re the boss,” she offers her grandmonkey a soft comment, though she knows it won’t be understood, and won’t calm him down either. He has his person/mom to protect, so she understands that.

“Hailey,” she speaks up now. “How did the rats give you away to them?” She had noticed that detail, but she’d not been the one giving the interview. But since no one else asked…

Rhys doesn't seem to hear Gillian’s comment about Eve. Eyes closed, he weaves subtly to one side and furrows his brows. As Hailey works through her story about intersecting people and their affects on one another, the rock girl stands out. His brows pinch together, momentary confusion, a tangle in the threads of shadow.

When Rhys opens his eyes, he looks askance at Gillian with one brow raised, then settles his attention back on Hailey. It's uncertain if Rhys found out what he was looking for or not, but he doesn't seem to be so deeply entranced by the past anymore. “It's not too late to apply to SESA, you know,” Rhys offers in a hushed tone of voice to Gillian. “Follow in the family footsteps, right foot first…”

“I don’t know who the rock girl is, I can’t remember what she looks like,” Hailey says with a simple shrug of one shoulder. “It was dark, I was shot, I couldn’t feel anything, she just.. She looked like a rock.”

Jim swings down the tree and stands with his chest out in front of Hailey, baring his teeth and fangs. He swings his body from side to side until his arms begins swinging as well, then he hops up and down. This is no mating dance but behind him, Hailey is trying not to laugh… until Gillian speaks up, then the hair on the back of her neck prickles up and she shifts a very nervous look from Rhys to Cooper.

“I… Rats are— they’re not dumb. When they feel me, they get curious and come closer,” she says quietly, her gaze flicking down to the ground in front of her… and Jim’s hairy little feet. “So there were a lot of rats around. There’s a lot of rats everywhere.” Like the hospital. “And…” She stops suddenly and shoots a pleading look to Gillian, but not panic. Not yet. “Please don’t let them negate me again. I have been trying really hard since the hospital. But when I get scared, I sometimes forget…” In other words, she loses control. “…The rats were running from all over, they knew I was there.”

“Looked like a rock… huh.” It’s scribbled down, probably nothing, but details are never left off.

The money is watched, admittedly a bit nervously. Cooper recognizes that what he is seeing, in a way, is Hailey’s mood… So he can’t fault the monkey for being protective. “Hailey,” The tone is one gives when someone they are talking to is being silly. “We have no intention in having you negated. I have no intentions of seeing you negated.” He looks at Rhys to back him up on this, before giving the young woman his full gaze again. “I have a daughter, right around your age. She’s like you… well… I mean… not like you…like you. She’s expressive.” Flipping the notebook closed, he tucks it in his coat jacket, followed by his pen. He motions above him with a finger, glancing at the sunny sky, with one eyes squinted closed, “She… absorbs sunlight. A lot like a solar panel and turns it into energy.”

He looks back down to Hailey, again. What she doesn’t know is Thomas doesn’t really talk about this. Not cause he is ashamed of it, but… Ellen is a little sensitive about it. Something about premature ejaculations… he tends to stop listening after that word passes her lips. Dad blinders, activated at lightning speed. Sometimes, he wonders about Raquelle’s influences on that girl.

“But when she gets really emotional… really scared and upset.” He glances down at Jim, “Feels threatened… Well, lets just say she’s taken that energy and broken a lot of windows…. And a few bones, too.” His hands spread a little, “She hasn’t been negated, yet. You’re safe.”

That answers the question Gillian wanted to make sure on. That the rats had come because of her, not because of someone else. Like the hospital. Part of her wants to hug her as she begs not to be negated, but allows Agent Cooper to handle it, giving him a small smile when he does. By showing that he empathized with the situation, she hopes that Hailey will understand that at least these Agents aren’t out to get her.

Rhys, however, gets a very different look from her. “I think working with the Cooperative is enough for me, thank you.” She knows exactly what the man means— or she thinks so. She knows who her real parents had been, who they had worked for.

And what they’d done to her and her brother. But that didn’t make her love them less. Even if she only met them once, that she can remember. In the future. When she had tried to save her parents. And at the same time had intended to undo what had been done to her.

“But I’m willing to help you with these problems in any way that I can. These men got too close to my— to someone I care about.” One of her kids.

“I think we have enough to go on,” Rhys says quietly to Cooper. Then, with a look to Hailey, Rhys rolls his shoulders forward. “Losing control when you're scared is just a thing people like us have to manage. Happened to me, happened to Gillian,” he says with some certainty, despite never seeing it happen. “We all learn in our own ways, but having an instructor can help. You don't need to be registered to get training, and you happen to know two people who’re both good at it.”

Rhys nods over to the licensed instructor, and leaves the other obfuscated for now. “So, I'm comfortable leaving you in Gillian’s care for the time being.” Rhys side-eyes the augmentor, defining the time being as a nebulous and broad period. “Unless there was anything else you could think of, Coop?”

Hailey’s eyes go wide at Cooper’s story, flitting all over his face as he speaks as though she’s looking for some sort of facial tic that would give away a lie or exaggeration. “She makes electricity?!?” It’s not completely unbelievable, but it’s so much more impressive than animal feelings or even bright shadows. “I bet you never get brownouts. Is she registered?”

There’s the inkling that she likely is, but Hailey doesn’t assume. Just like she doesn’t assume that she’s the only one of her little group that’s not registered. There’s still so many unaccounted for since she left Brian’s care nearly three years ago. “I bet she works for Yamagato, or maybe she works for herself…” There’s so many things. “I bet you’re proud of her.”

There is a chuckle at the question, “Not really… but I can see how someone would think that.” Cooper grins and shakes his head. “Not electricity… just.. Energy. I don’t really understand it myself, but that girl is like the Energizer Bunny. On the go, all the time, never seems like she gets tired,” that he ever sees anyhow. “Well, unless she does that thing she does… hard to explain that, too.”

“She’s registered. Of her own choice,” Cooper admits, pushing to his feet. “And yes, Hailey, I am very proud of her. Who knows…” He glances at Gillian with an amused look, “Maybe one day, I can introduce you to her.”

Thomas glances down at the posturing primate and presses his lips together in thought, “I would shake hands out of professional courtesy, but Jimmy here…” he points to the subject in question, “He is doing a fine job of making me nervous. So…” He removes a business card, shows it to her, and sets it in his chair; which he now stands behind… probably to put something between him and the monkey. “Anything happens… like these guys again or you think of any other information or anything. You now know how to get ahold of me.”

With a glance at the suggestion of training the girl in using her ability so she doesn’t… repeat the hospital incident, Gillian nods. That was what the Lighthouse that she wanted was supposed to do. Until Brian brought guns and combat training into the equation. Then it became more difficult. But Hailey hadn’t stayed with the Lighthouse long after she left to fight in the war. Maybe she would have learned better had she, but they’ll never know.

“I can definitely help you get control better, without being negated,” she offers the girl, toying with something under her shirt. The locket she almost always wore. The pictures had been damaged by the water when she fell into the river to escape the birds, but she could still see her parents. That was enough for her.

“And Jim is a great bodyguard,” she has to laugh, grinning at Cooper for trying to calm fears, and doing what she thinks is a good job. Maybe he will get to find out what Hailey is to her someday. Maybe she’ll be able to introduce him and his daughter to all of the former Lighthouse Kids. And perhaps, even, Jolene. But not until the case was solved. Probably.

“Thank you so much, both of you. If you need any further help, you know where to find me.” She’s good at acting totally okay with everything. But she has her own little tics.

“Thanks, Gillian,” Rhys quietly offers to her, then steps up to Cooper’s side. “And thank you for being brave enough to talk about this with us.” He says to Hailey, hands tucked into his pockets and posture relaxed. “It sounds like you're gonna be in good hands, so…”

Rhys turns to Gillian and smiles faintly. “Coop and I can get out of your hair, and get to catching the bad guys.” In style, if he has anything to say about it.

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