Twelve Seats

Participants:

abby_icon.gif bennet_icon.gif cat_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif mcrae_icon.gif

patrick_icon.gif scott_icon.gif seratto_icon.gif susan_icon.gif tien_icon.gif

Scene Title Twelve Seats
Synopsis The Ferry's organizational council, minus one, meets for the first time.
Date July 23, 2010

St. Joseph's


Dying sunlight filters through the ancient stained glass windows of St. Joseph's, creating a broken kaleidoscope of fractured colours that paint the faces of the men and women seated around a table at the center of the church with two rows of pews for seats, six on each side. The structure did not fare well during the storms and has since been abandoned by those who once tended to it, but its skeleton remains sound, making it a perfect place for clandestine meetings under a sky already starting to grow dark, the faint outline of a pale moon visible through the hole in the ceiling above a dust-covered altar upon which a merlin with a slate gray back and sharp black markings sits perched and oversees the proceedings.

"I'm glad that you could all make it," Susan Ball is saying, and in her slender hands is a crisp sheet of paper. "I'd like to start by reviewing the nominations for the sub-branches that Eileen proposed at the last meeting if there aren't any objections? The sooner we get those appointments out of the way, the sooner we can move forward."

Yuan Tien, on his side of the table, has none. He sits with his large hands folded and jaw set, dark eyes studying the familiar faces opposite him, including Eileen's. The Englishwoman has not spoken a word since taking her seat, wolf's head cane resting between her legs rather than across her lap.

Abby came, despite the conversation with Eileen and her statement that she was refusing the nomination. Whatever her reason for showing, she's there, light weight shirt, shorts, shoes and parked in a pew with not a smile on her face in sight. Her arms are crossed and to a degree, slumped in her seat with feet planted firmly on the floor.

Elsewhere, occupying a pew and occupying a great deal of it, Serrato sits, taking a few hours away from busting up teenagers who think they can get away with skipping school until he comes around and pulls them back in by the ear. "Sounds all right to me Susan" Deep voice easily heard in the abandoned place, palms pressed against each other.

Leaning back in his seat with one ankle resting on the opposite knee, Patrick Hale likewise shakes his head. "No problems here," says the soft-spoken firefighter, as his green eyes move slowly around the table, taking in the rest of the group's response as he idly scratches his bicep through the fabric of a faded Yankees T-shirt. On the table in front of him is a cap with the Long Beach Fire Department logo, his battalion number, 4, embroidered on the back.

Just next to Abby, Joseph's dropped down to sit by her, already eyeing her posture and bodylanguage with a hint of worry — but he hasn't said anything, having arrived just as the meeting was due to begin, a quiet and mildly nervous presence, but there. He's denim and flannel, today, with twin crucifix pendants dangling on their silver chain, hands neatly folded together on the table and shoulders a little stiff. Only a nod on the back of Abby's agreement, from him, but not out of sullen silence — more respect for procedure and a hint of shyness he'll have to work on biting back, one way or another. Not because he can't talk in front of audiences — this is just an especially intimidating one.

Seated on opposite sides of the table, Scott Harkness and Noah Bennet remains silent at Susan's query for objections, only a fleeting look between the two betrays that there may be more going on beneath their surface than just quiet aquiescense to the council's nominations. Fleeting glimpses of Susan come from them both, along with a palpable tension hanging in the air. Whether Noah has shared the voices concerns about Susan to Scott or not isn't obviously clear, but the two seem to be affording her more scrutiny than usual.

A few seats down, David McRae has his hands folded together and bald head tipped forward, staring down at the table in front of himself, blue eyes soon alight to Susan, head bobbing in a nod as he unfodls his hands and gestures around to everyone at the table. "I'm very eager to move on, and I think everyone shares my sentiments here." Sometimes loquacious, sometimes a man of few words, McRae seems to be bordering on the latter today.

There's a Cat in the room, seated across from Susan, her demeanor calmly businesslike. Brown eyes note the seats chosen by eleven other councilors and their apparent attitudes, with a brow lifting as Abby is scanned. Casual attire, t-shirt featuring Joan Jett's face and pale shorts. "Agreed," she voices in reply to the FBI person.

"For Logistics and Communcation," Susan starts, reading from her sheet, "the Milburn brothers of Grand Central Terminal. For Intelligence, Hana Gitelman — some of you may know her better as Wireless." There's a pause as her lips thin out and the corners of her mouth turn down while she reviews the next name on the list. It's unlikely that her hesitation has anything to do with its pronunciation. When she does speak it aloud, she keeps her tone softly neutral. "For Special Activities, Jensen Raith of the Vanguard Remnant."

In case anyone forgot. "Lastly," she continues, "for our Medical branch, Megan Young, though she could probably stand to be advised not to consent to widely-publicized media interviews in which she compares the Registry to the Third Reich unless she's trying to attract the Institute's attention. We have enough of that happening already."

"Maybe someone should have a chat with her about such… verbalized thoughts, in the future. That it's better kept in her mind and not crossing the brain mouth barrier. Or to think before she speaks" Serrato chimes in from his seat. "Tell me again however, why we haven't pulled from within the Ferry ranks to fill out a sub-section of special activities and instead pulled from the… vanguard Remenant?"

Megan's going to be under her? Well, what doubt she'd had about being able to do the job, at least she knows that someone with experience longer running than hers, will be helping her. Between the two of them, surely they can handle this. Abby remains silent on any objection, seemingly satisfied with who was chosen for whichever spot.

"As Young was speaking from her position of the Suresh Center, an organization supposedly sympathetic to the plight of the Evolved, I don't think that having opinions necessarily draws any suspicion to her as a possible member of any underground operations. It'd probably be more strange if she didn't have a strong opinion on the matter, or gave a no comment," Patrick says diplomatically. His eyes move to Serrato and he quirks a brow. "What needs to happen for them to stop being considered Vanguard, and simply Ferry?" It's not a rebuke, the way he says it, but more of an honest question.

"The Evo Affairs Department's aligned itself with the Suresh Centre," Joseph adds, a glance to Patrick as he says so. "Stands to be careful if only for Miss Young's sake, and bein' outspoken comes with a price. One that Phoenix is more keen t'pay than us, but uh. To be more on topic— " His hands link together, glancing back the ways towards Susan and nods once. "Those names sound fine to me. I don't got anyone more qualified for the likes of, uh, special activities in mind."

A look to Eileen, now, back straightening. "Though— how're we workin' this? How independent are these leaders from what we talk about?" He doesn't outright say that that might affect the way he considers them, but it's implied.

"Stopping genocidal plans was probably a good step forward for the Remnant," Noah comments in a manner that injects an unusual level of black humor, "but I personally haven't been sure of the delineation between their group and ours for some time now. Aside from…" Noah's brows crease behind the dark frames of his glasses, "one particular member the people counted among the Remnant have typically always been direct allies of the Ferrymen. In fact, aside from that singular member I'd go as far to say that there isn't a difference between their group and ours, unless they're performing activities that go outside of the boundaries of the Ferrymen as a whole."

Looking across the table to Scott Harkness, Noah raises a brow, and Scott leans forward with his hands folded in front of his mouth. "Which does bring to point the very nature of the Ferrymen as a whole and our rapidly approaching militarization. I've been watching the evolution of our group for some time now, and what started out as self-defense training seems to have somehow escalated to something that I'm not entirely sure that I'm comfortable with."

Laying his hands down on the table, Scott looks over to McRae, then back around to the other members of the council. "Now I've already told the Nichols girl what I saw in my vision, but I know that hasn't made the rounds. I was arrested by members of the United States National Guard from the Hangar, alone. I did not resist, nor would I if presented with the situation again. I have, and always will be, resistant to the concept of raising arms against the United States Military. I know what it's like to be in that uniform and to be given orders you may not agree with."

Exhaling a sharp sigh, Scott leans his chin down on his folded hands. "I don't know if this council is prepared to address the situation of our militarization and what the Ferry should get involved in, but I know our members have taken initiative on their own before to do things outside of the boundaries of self defense."

Shaking his head Scott waves a dismissive hand by the side of his head. "I don't mean to distract us from important facets of legislative matters like our independance," there's a look to Joseph, apologetic, "but I do want to discuss this at some point, and not after November 8th has already come and gone."

Listening occurs as others around the table speak opinions, Cat's eyes drawn to some of them with sparks of interest suggesting she has her own thoughts which may or may not match those speakers. Serrato's commentary on commentary and links to the Vanguard, Patrick's honest question, Joseph's reply, and Scott's statement of concern.

Eyes rest on each as she takes the floor during a lull to voice her own thoughts in the order of those who spoke before. "I'd not be one to criticize free speech, Megan Young has every right to say what she thinks. In the coming months, such viewpoints will be heard often and loudly as the general population experiences registration at first hand. Its enforcement will not go over well. And if I had any concerns about Jensen Raith's time with the Vanguard, there might not be anyone more vocal about it. I accept him as Ferry."

Moving along, to Scott, Cat quietly asks "At what point, Scott, is it reasonable to expect US military people will keep their oath about defending the Constitution, which supersedes any given order? The future may very well see them violating that oath, perhaps this is what causes the riots, or partly the cause." She's intrigued by his thoughts, though it may well be a discussion to be held between the two of them alone at another time.

Lastly, opinion is given on the nominations. "I voice no objections to the nominees."

"If the only thing that Young is guilty of is having an opinion, I don't see any issues," Susan concedes with a slight bow of her head, "but if she's using her position at the Suresh Center to encourage people to break the law by refusing to register and advertising it, then the network may have a problem on its hands if the Department of Evolved Affairs decides to investigate the situation. As for Jensen Raith—"

"As for Jensen Raith," Tien interrupts, "he has my full support also. When the Institute came for Liette Fournier, those who escaped wouldn't have been able to do so without his helicopter. He also assisted with Joseph's liberation and helped secure the H5N10 vaccines for our network. Ferrymen, Vanguard. What he does on his own time, as long as it does not interfere with our activities, is no business of mine. Or yours, Susan."

Beneath the table, Eileen curves the edge of her thumb along the wolf's muzzle and counts its teeth with her nail. The merlin on the altar glances in the direction of the empty seat at the end of one pew where Grace is supposed to be. Her absence is forgivable; network emergencies take precedence over meetings behind closed doors, and it's an emergency that's separated her from the rest of the council this evening.

"Whatever decisions we make," Eileen tells Joseph, "the branch heads will respect. That includes completing tasks that we may choose to assign them. Otherwise, I'd like to be able to trust their judgement."

"From one veteran to another," Tien cuts in again, this time for Scott's benefit, "we are obligated to raise arms against our nation's military if that military has turned on its own people. Catherine is right. In case you've forgotten, this government is funding an organization centered around human experimentation. As many as eighty innocent men, women and children were taken from the Thompson commune by the Institute only last month. While I agree that we should leave the majority of the fighting to groups who are better equipped, there's no point in continuing to operate this network if we aren't willing to do whatever is required to protect those in its care. If that means militarization in the event that the visions come to pass, then I say so be it."

"It's only a matter of time before what happened at Thompson happens here on U.S. soil," Eileen says, "and if you're willing to surrender without a fight, that's your choice, but allowing the Institute to kidnap, imprison and experiment on the people who have signed their lives over to us isn't your decision to make. Ask Joseph what Bella Sheridan did to him and tell me that you'd stand by and allow it to happen again because you want to sympathize with the men in uniform who are only following orders."

Serrato's palms go up, people voicing their opinions and support of Raith in the slot that he's been appointed. It was just a question and he got several answers back. The black man bobs his head, in fine agreement with the choice of sub-sections.

"Do we need to stockpile weapons though, like what was at the midtown safehouse that got raided? There's a difference between arming ourselves and arming an army. We are first and foremost, here to help those who need it, be it getting them ID's and shuffled off to other portions of the country and even out of country so that they can restart their lives. I understand that there have been incidents in the past but.. we are not a military nor militant organization and while I appreciate that there are those who are more than willing to take up those specific aspects of protecting the organization in such ways…"

Abby sits up in her pew, planting her hands flat on the bench. "I just don't like. Don't get me wrong, I own a gun myself and I use it, but if what was seen in the visions comes true, we are bound for a sweep and if we intend to get through it, being shown on the news with AK47's and all other sorts of weaponry in basements and the like, is not going to win us any points in the public venue. Even the lighthouse had a stockpile and that's an orphange"

Patrick's brows furrow at the account of Scott's vision, his eyes moving from that man to the others, nodding slightly when Tien speaks, and then again at Eileen's words. "Look, I have guys on the force that I love like brothers. Fire and PD work closely together, and there's some that have helped me out in dark times," he says quietly. "But being in a uniform doesn't mean they don't have a conscience. They can lay down their badge and gun and uniform and choose not to come after us when that time comes. We make choices. They're not brainwashed. They have the choice to disobey. Sure, it might mean getting fired, but arresting people whose only crime is being Evolved? I know everyone here would quit first. They can too."

To Abby, Patrick gives a shrug. "All the more reason to have the weapons. They need to protect those kids. I'm sure Fulk's got enough clones running around to make sure no one grabs the key."

"I don't think we're here to regulate how safehouses run themselves."

This from Joseph, studying the centre of the table more or less, but sneaking glances to those around him too. "We start tellin' people they can't stock weapons in their safehouses, or that they have to, then we're probably not gonna be a welcome addition to the way the network does its business, are we? The Lighthouse has had weapons since as long as I've known it to, since before I was even Ferry, and it's on Staten Island. They've been attacked, more'n once."

A hand splays, some sort of apology. "Now I ain't sayin' we should go out and put a gun in the hand of every operative, just that should be armed if they want to — Lord knows it's been proven that we need to protect ourselves. But what we can do, here, is make sure that anythin' that the Special Activities branch does gets run by this here table. That's somethin' we can and should control, and make sure we don't turn into— some opposite version of Humanis First."

"I agree fully with Sumter," is Harkness' honest response answer. "I'm personally nervous about our network having something called a Special Activities branch, when it's clearly a militia. Civil disobediance and what we've done against the Registry is one thing, but I for one am not willing to raise arms against the US military. If it gets to that point we've changed from what we were originally intended to be when the Ferrymen were formed and we've become something entirely different." Scott's eyes downcast to the table, fingers squeeze against one another and his shoulders seem to slack some.

"Being in the police is different than the armed forces, a cop is wired to think differently than a soldier and Tien can attest to that. You're given orders and you follow, and if it sounds like this is being done for the security of the public? Look, if I didn't know everything I did, I might not be here right now, fighting the fight I am. How many of us have come in to the Ferry late, from a life they thought was ordinary?"

Looking left and right across the table, Scott adds, "How many people who have yet to see things our way are we willing to take the lives of? Ten? One hundred? One thousand? I can't obviously ask all of you to see things the way I do, but I need you all to be aware that none of the administrative heads of the Hangar are willing to raise arms against our military. When the time comes and if the Hangar is swept up and we do not have sufficient time to move assets, I'm not going to kill young servicemen and women simply because their government has fallen from grace."

Troubled, Scott looks up across the table to Noah, who refuses to make eye contact while he adjusts his horn-rimmed glasses and stares down at the table in front of him.

Her reactions aren't extreme or demonstrative, but they do exist in the form of eyes resting on people as they speak and quirks of a brow. Shown as thoughtful expressions and at times darkening of those brown eyes. When Scott lapses to silence, Cat speaks in a somber voice. "I don't fault you, Scott, for your position and desire not to act against US soldiers. There is no single definition of patriotism, like beauty it's in the eye of the beholder. As to arms stockpiles, they're necessary. We don't just face risk from Federal forces, Humanis First remains a danger. Less than thirty days ago they demonstrated their continued existence."

Joseph is glanced at as she goes on. "Times have, and will exist when the choice is kill or be killed. Special Activities Branch to me is meant for those occasions when we know a threat is imminent and where it comes from, so it can be handled away from places of expected safety. I agree that any operation it conducts should be approved by this body."

Tien glowers in Serrato's general direction, nostrils flaring like a bull's before a gaudy red cape. Joseph has already said what he'd been prepared to, likely in much politer terms.

As if sensing the tension thickening in the air, Susan lays her sheet of paper down, rests her elbow on the edge of her table and her chin in the seat of her palm. "I don't want to start telling people who can and can't keep weapons," she says, "but Joseph brings up an excellent point: the twelve of us have the power to veto any decisions that Raith might try to make if we feel it's not in the best interest of the network. There's no need for anyone to get upset. We're ones in control here, not him. And Scott, you had an opportunity to voice your objection about the formation of the Special Activities branch at the last meeting and chose not to — it's done.

"I'd like to move on, if we could. Does anyone have any issues that they'd like to bring up unrelated to Special Activities? Preferably something with a positive spin on it that won't have us at each other's throats?"

"Er," Patrick says, frowning a little as he leans forward. "It's not positive, but just a question. The deadline for carrying registration status being announced for August 31st. We probably wanna make sure that anyone who's not registered, even if they're not really hiding or in a safehouse, has some sort of ID. We should probably see if we can get a look of what the non-Evolved paperwork looks like, as soon as possible. Someone non-Evolved among us," he glances at Bennet, arching a brow, "should go and get that done, so we can have a copy to use for our forgers."

"I got somethin'," Joseph chimes in, resting his elbows against the table at a lazy fold of arms, though he doesn't convey a sense of weariness — just attempting to relax a little. "But, uh. Patrick's got hisself a point. Mine's not so pressin'." And because he knows exactly nada about ID forgery and beating the system, being a card carrier himself, he shuts up then to wait his turn, a hand gesture as if to indicate go on to the meeting.

"I'm not entirely certain that I'm your best candidate for getting publicly registered, but I think I might be able to convince miss Oliver to handle that. She, legitimately, has nothing to hide and her background won't raise as many red flags as mine. To be honest, I'm concerned that I may be on an Institute watch list, given my prior employment and work-history," of which is usually not a topic for discussion at the table.

"I'll take a trip out to Gun Hill, see if I can get miss Oliver to handle her registration. Since she's one of our identification handlers it would be best for her to get a first look at it too, but if we're going by the standards of new state identification cards, fraud is going to be exceptionally difficult."

Adjusting his glasses, Noah looks down to the table, then up and around at those seated at it. "I would want to, instead, try and find out allies within the NYPD. Any law-enforcement officer is capable of handling a Registration applicant, all we need to do is find one willing to look the other way when it comes to the blood test. Right now the Ferry has minimal police contacts willing to go that far, but I think I may be able to kill two birds with one stone during that Gun Hill trip."

Folding his hands together, Noah dips his head down into a nod, then looks up and across to Susan, then finally over to Joseph with raised brows, expectant to what the Pastor had in mind.

Thank god no ones asked her to go and register and let them copy her card. But it is something that she'll have to deal with soon enough on her own. "Colette's father too, might be considered. He's a detective. Whether he's sympathetic to the cause or not. He might be able to also point to others in the city on law enforcement who can turn that blind eye"

Joseph howver has something he wants to bring up and Abigail looks to the side, focusing her attention on him even as Serrato does the same, not blinking an eye.

"I've gotta couple softball buddies on the Long Beach force I can talk to, though I don't think we would wanna send too many Manhattanites to Long Island; that might raise some brows," Patrick offers. "But a few, random registrations wouldn't likely raise too much suspicion." He leans back again, his issue of concern now duly addressed, and turns to Joseph, giving the pastor a nod for having given Patrick's issue the floor first.

There's a quick smile from Joseph to those who cede him speaking time, and doesn't correct 'Pastor' — either because he forgot, no longer cares, or no longer minds. It's difficult to tell. "After nominations went up, one of ours— Michelle Kaneda? Social worker. She wanted me to put it out there that we got a lot of minors in the network," he starts, back straightening up slightly and hands resting on the edge of the table. "And I know we got a main function to protect them, but all things considered, we could make an effort to see 'em be educated too, seein' as some of them outright can't until we can find a better place for 'em to be.

"And whether it be us investigating organisations and the like that might pass for it, without risking anything, or if we help out with it ourselves. I think if we talked around, we'd get a few volunteers, myself included — you don't gotta be a qualified teacher to pull off a little homeschooling while they're with us. I'd like to try and organise somethin' like this, anyhow."

"You read my mind, Abby," is Noah's smiling answer, cheerful in that smug way he can be sometimes. "As for Ivanov, I have it on good source that he was tapped for Frontline as if two weeks ago," Noah informs with an adjustment of his glasses, "he's no longer at his desk in the bureau. I have a friend down in Annapolis who says he saw Ivanov's name come across the drafting board for horizon armor training," there's an incline of Noah's head at that, "which is the fancy name for the body armor that all Frontline officers wear. Unfortunately he may not be a viable asset any longer, however he might still be of some assistance."

Noah lifts up a hand and rubs his palm over his mouth. "I'll see about approaching Ivanov, I've always been interested in meeting him…" There's a nod of Noah's head to Joseph afterward, apologetic for treading over his commentary about the schooling program. While it's not his area of expertise, this does seem like an odd place for McRae to speak up.

"Joseph's got himself a fine idea," the bald old man states after a significant period of silent observation. "The children among this organization could do well with a proper education, I know I've heard more than my fair share of stories about why this one dropped out or why that one never finished whatever grade…" there's a crease of McRae's forehead as he consiers the council members. "I'll volunteer space at our humble slice of Staten Island to help collect some of the children in, see to it that they receive a proper learning. Now of course I may not be the best teacher, unless it's a gardening class…" there's a wry smile across McRae's lips, "but I'm open to having someone come down to teach."

"I've worked with Ivanov more than once," Cat allows, "and there are worse people we could approach." She elects not to say more than that, filing information on his Frontline status away in the recorder's archives along with everything else and wondering what Sarisa the Shark is up to.

"Establishing school is a solid idea."

"I'm not sure if Staten Island is the best place for it," Eileen says. "The Sweat Lodge is dangerously close to the Reclaimed Zone, and we should try to minimize passage to and from Staten Island unless absolutely where the children are concerned." She shifts her cane and crosses her legs at the knee with a soft rustle of fabric. "It might be better if we asked someone like Sable or Mouse to scout out potential properties on the mainland that we can either purchase or convert without a deed."

"I can get Felix to meet up somewhere to talk. We're.. well, he owes me, a couple times over" This is offered by Abby to Noah as an avenue for finding him normally instead of through super ninja Noah ways. Those here likely know why. "There's a church in greenwich, not Pastor Sumter's but Miriam's. Maybe their basement could be used currently until more permanent locations could be pinned down. People won't question children heading off to a church. A church has day care, and they sometimes have schools run by them." Abby shifts back to sitting down, arms loosely wrapped around herself. "Gardening is still teaching Mister McRae. It's science, life, chemistry, you'd be surprised what you learn that is educational. This coming from someone who was homeschooled most of her life. I can help there, on my days off, keeping things organized. With help"

"I can get access to the various curriculums required" Serrato speaks up from his spot, resettling his elbows on his legs, having sat quietly through most of the conversation happening around the table. "So long as I know what grades are needed. Workbooks, tests, all of that. I'm sure we'll be able to find the volunteers to help"

"I think there's a lot of talent among the safehouse operators and allies and classes could be taught on like a rotating schedule of sorts, anyone who wants teaching whatever they're equipped to teach, with of course someone sort of stable in charge on a consistent basis, so the littler kids feel there's one person they can always be sure is there. They need that consistency, and they're lacking it," Patrick offers his two bits. "If you look on the outskirts of the ruins, there might be a building that's usable, an actual school that you wouldn't have to do much to, but not so deep in radiation zone either. Or homeless central." He shrugs. "On my off days, I'll be happy to help convert whatever you find, do some handywork. Or once it's up, come by and teach some P.E. or fire safety or whatever ya need."

The pastor relaxes a little further when the topic is not only nodded to, but also discussed. "Then we can get together some location recommendations, neighbourhoods, and hand 'em over to the likes of Sable and Mouse. Other operators like yourself," a nod to McRae, "might come forward with their support too. I can probably do some tutoring too but, uh, otherwise, until I run into someone who might be more qualified to handle this project overeall, I'd be happy to oversee for the time bein', so long as none of you mind."

"Alright, Abigail, if you think Ivanov will be receptive to you, I'll cede the point of conversing with him to you and see how it goes. Sable and Mouse seem like good choices for the scouting as well, I agree. I'd get them both on that," Noah agrees with a slow nod of his head, "I'll see if Sandra's heard of anything up on the market that we might be able to pick up cheap, she has some contacts in local real-estate agencies. I'll see what I can do to double-check locations after Sable and Mouse have done their best." There's a look over to Joseph, the closest to approving that Noah can offer, followed by a nod.

"Though, while we're on the topic of Ferry initiatives, and I know this might be on everyone's mind att he moment…" There's a quiet sigh from Noah as he leans back in his chair. "We do need to discuss what happened in Manitoba, the Thompson Commune was one of our largest end-point locations for refugees, and we don't have an accurate estimate — at this moment — of exactly who has gone missing, nor have we had any contact with the operator of that location."

Furrowing his brows, Noah looks down to the table and folds his hands together. "I know that there's been conversation about a leak in our organization, and while it can't be directly proven that there is one, I am left to wonder if the proposed leak may have been responsible for the situation we faced at the commune. That was one of— if not the— best kept secret in the entire organization. Only a handful of our coyotes even knew where the commune was."

"We could also set up a means by which the children involved are educated wherever they reside, given prepared lessons to read and be visited by tutors periodically, which spares us the logistics of moving them back and forth routinely, unless the goal is to make a place found for the purpose our school safehouse. We can also find people within our ranks who are well suited to teach." Cat then turns her attention to that which Noah has saved her from having to raise. Partly.

"A possible leak is dangerous," she gravely opines, "we can't dismiss the possibility out of hand and need to discuss ways to determine if we have one. But… I've been told the Institute has developed a device which can find SLC people. A compass. It's possible that's how the commune was discovered. It could've been watched once found. But it also may have been targeted to catch a specific person. Tyler Case."

The name Tyler Case does not mean as much to some of the people sitting at the table as it does to Cat. Tension enters Eileen's slender neck and narrow shoulders at the mention but that is all. Susan and Yuan Tien exchange vaguely uncomfortable glances.

"I have access to the Registry," Susan offers. "I might be able to find us a Lie Detector that we can use to screen any operatives we might suspect of working with the Institute based on a short series of questions, if that's something we're comfortable with doing. People are also more likely to agree than if we confronted them with someone like Kaylee, but I wouldn't discount her either."

Eileen readjusts her grip on her cane, and the merlin on the altar gives an irritated flick of its streamlined wings. "This device," she starts, "gravitates toward large groups. The Thompson Commune had at least eighty people living on it when it was raided by the Institute, but there are other methods the government could have used. Clairvoyants, precognitives, postcognitives, pyschometers. I would not be so swift to accuse one of our own."

"Oh no, no Mister Bennet, I meant that I could get him to meet.. with.. you." Frowning, head quirked to an angel as she looks at the former company agent before her mouth part and eyebrows lift in dawning. Oh. Well. "I think I just got volunteered" Murmured low enough that Joseph can hear. Cat has a bit of a bombshell for the medic, in that Tyler case was alive? "But he's dead" Which mind you, this day and age, doesn't really say much when dead people can be brought back. "Tyler cases died at Pinehearst Cat and if he didn't.." Well, if he was there, then the institute has a power switcher. Abigail looks decidedly uncomfortable with that little revelation.

"If we have a leak, what can we do to locate and find a way to close this leak. Close it before it does much more harm? DO we have any ideas as to whom this might be and a compass? An evolved compass?" Seratto strethces a bit in place. "Might be better to utilize Kaylee, if she's willing to do it, than to go outside the Ferry and take a chance on someone who isn't in the Ferry. Don't fix what isn't broken. That's what I say"

"Whoa," Patrick says, glancing at Susan. "I agree with Damon. I don't want some random Lie Detector we don't know who isn't Ferry coming in, even for the sake of finding a leak. How do we know that they're not a problem, unless you have Kaylee go probing in their brain and making them forget what they heard when detecting us, but who knows if that's not undoable by someone else, someone stronger later on?" It's not an ethical issue with messing with an outsider's mind, but one of security. "No. We're not gonna pull in people randomly to do our security for us. It's that kinda thinking that causes leaks."

"We should get some boots on the ground in Thompson," Harkness opines with a stroke of his chin, "it's impossible to tell the losses without getting up there, and we can't just bury our heads in the sand and pretend it didn't happen. Going up there will probably be risky, but I can't imagine if it was the Institute that they'd risk sticking around on foreign soil. That whole incident can't have been easy for them to manage and I imagine the Canadian government is still afire because of it."

Clearing his throat, Scott creases his brows and shakes his head. "I don't like the idea of telepath incursions into our operatives or the lie detector, it breeds to much distrust. I think what we're going to need to do is just handle this the old fashioned way." There's a look up to Noah on that note.

"I'm with Scott," Noah explains, "and I think what we need to do is keep some ears to the ground. People inside of the Ferry whose job it is to ferret out security leaks or Ferrymen operatives who just… talk too much?" There's an askance look over to Susan, then around the table.

"On that note, did anyone happen to catch the news last night?" Sure, Noah's going to bring up Magnes. That won't be a volatile topic.

"My memories of what happened on that roof are less than perfect," Cat admits, "because I got a dose of Tyler's mojo, but they aren't non-existent. There were two Tylers, the older Edward had them augmenting each other. When the loop was broken, the older Tyler died. The younger one, and some woman I don't know, were still alive. I think both the original Tyler and the woman got dispowered in the process, though, or they might just have bee burnt out. We don't know for certain Tyler was at the commune, but he might've been, and given Institute behavior it makes sense. Targeted abductions, looking for people with specific gifts."

Brown eyes shift to Noah. "What news?"

"It's Varlane, and he thinks that if he gets outed, that it'll be great publicity for Tracy Strauss and the Presidents Office. I keep pointing out to him that his thinking is skewed and that he'll get himself arrested is what he'll get. If you're referring to the guy in the white suit getting his arse handed to him" Deep heavy sigh from Abigail. "He must be dying of heat stroke inside that getup."

She doens't voice her own thoughts on who the leak my be, or even throw an accusatory look towards susan when she mentions not using Kaylee. "Has anyone heard from the boys from Fitzpatricks out in Queens? When are they supposed to be back from their run?"

"Stupid question, but talking about talks too much… Varlane's part of that new Gun Hill contingent, right?" Patrick's out in Long Island, a bit on the fringe of the normal operations in Manhattan. "Some of the younger newbies might be a bit loose lipped… Not spies, but you know, all excited about their new favorite cause? Might look into that." He glances at the younger members of the council, Eileen and Abby and gives a little bow of his head. "No offense to our councilwomen present, of course. You've earned your stripes, no doubt. Just a thought."

"If we chose to try and keep some information watertight from the broader network, it wouldn't be the first time," Joseph adds, a hand up to absently fidget with the crucifix pendants at his neck. "It wouldn't hurt to suggest to a lot've the— experienced operatives and anyone who gets involved in this kinda thing, to make sure they ain't bulletining everythin' that goes on to the point that weekend volunteers know so much. I think we used to be better at 'need to know' than we are these days, includin' communes and includin' them gettin' attacked."

Scott seems surprisingly pleased with this, all things aside. "Alright, I think we can work with that. Do you think it would be worthwhile to have one of our more seasoned operatives take some of the younger members and give them some education of a different stripe?" Scott arches one brow slowly. "Someone with a good counter-intelligence background or at the very least team-building experience help teach our rookies the basics of information security and need-to-know operations? I know a lot of the Ferrymen aren't from military backgrounds, but that doesn't mean they can't learn from those of us who do have them."

There's a look up and down the table from Scott, then back over to the other side. "Furthermore, someone has got to talk to Varlane about the stunt he pulled the other night. I don't know what was going on, but that sort of grandstanding, attention-grabbing stuff… it's not only juvenile but it's reckless."

"Where do I find footage of whatever he did?" Cat asks, "was it related to someone stalking his new girlfriend? I'd heard she was having troubles with an ex-boyfriend." Inwardly she groans, only a trace of that is shown outwardly. She'd been picturing the matter quietly handled by Doyle making the man punch his own sensitive parts until he got the message, but apparently not.

No commentary is made on the subject of training made by Scott, thus indicating agreement.

"Soon, I hope," Susan says of the boys from Fitzpatrick's. "They're down in Michoacan talking to Los Zetas about restocking the Armory, should Tien choose to reopen it, and negotiations take time. As for educating our younger operatives about the importance of security, that sounds like a task for Special Activities, don't you think?" A wry lift of her mouth accompanies the question. "Raith has the military background you're after, and we can emphasize that the lecture focus on discretion."

"You can find it on Youtube Cat. Elaine is his girlfriend and apparently she has an ex and his friends? Something like that, who are turned some degree of stalkery" Abigail shifts in her spot, leaning towards the arm of the pew. The boys of Fitzpatricks are still absent. There's a tightening around the young blondes lip as she nods her head in acknowledgement to the information. Somewhere though, she's wondering if it's really true. "Is there anything else that needs discussion?"

"That was Varlane? The guys were watching that last night, cracking up," Patrick says, a surprised raise of his brows and a shake of his head. "As far as the discretion training, I agree, Raith sounds like the man for that." His eyes turn back to Susan, the leader of the meeting, as he shifts his weight. He's not used to sitting in chairs for this long, clearly.

Joseph's agreement of some degree of intel training for the younger recruits, and using Raith to do it, is shown only with a nod along with the comments of others, and hands splaying apart together to show that he's said all he wants to say, though words spring to mind like a lightbulb going off above his head.

"I don't suppose everyone would be super open to ending our first council meeting in prayer?" he asks, with sparking optimism.

:D

"You know I think Sandra mentioned needing me to pick Lyle up from a friend's house," Noah mumbles as he pushes up from the pew, swinging his leg over one side and adjusting his glasses, offering an uncertain look around to the rest of the table. "I think we've all covered some good ground here and I know what I need to get to work on…"

"Oh, you know," Scott clears his throat and slips up from the table, "that reminds me that Alistair has a shipment of radio headsets coming in that I need to check on," one of Scott's hands rub over his mouth right up until he meets McRae's eyes.

"I think that's a wonderful idea, Joseph," McRae says with adamant enthusiasm as he looks upt o Noah and Scott, "and I have a feeling that Mister Bennet and Mister Harkness can probably spare a few minutes of time for that too, right?" As if somehow withered by McRae's stare, Scott offers a hesitant smile and slouches back down onto his pew, while Noah regards the smiling bald man with a stoic stare behind horn-rimmed glasses.

"Sure," Noah awkwardly murmurs with a tip of his head down, stepping back over his seat and looking from side to side before sitting down, "sure…"

Beaming, McRae offers out hands to the Ferrymen at either of his sides, blue eyes as sharp as ever as he looks over to Joseph and sits up straight. "I'd be honored if you'd lead us Pastor Sumter," and his firmness in the word pastor is perhaps intentional. You can take the pastor out of the church, but you cannot take the church out of the pastor.

Others seem about to adjourn, and Joseph is seeking to lead a prayer session, but Cat still has an item of business to cover. "In keeping with the concept of need to know, and security regarding people we let into the network, do we wish to establish a procedure? I was recently approached by an operative regarding an Irishwoman, Robyn Quinn. Wireless checked her background, she's clean, and meeting with her personally seems favorable. Do we want to make new additions subject to council approval after being checked out?"

"I have no objections," Susan says, linking hands with the council members beside her, "to prayer or allowing Miss Quinn into our organization." Eileen and Tien are doing the same, the former with more reluctance than the latter, her cane now resting against the edge of the table. The Englishwoman lifts her chin, jaw set, and closes her eyes in unspoken support of Joseph's gesture.

Tien watches him, expectant.

Abigail's hands slide into Josephs and anothers, somewhat reluctant for the contact but doing it regardless. Quinn's inclusion to the ferry and accepted with a shrug of her shoulder before she bows her head in preperation for the prayer.

"Sure. If she's gotten the nod of okay from those closest to her. I'd just be careful on that need-to-know thing, since she's in Varlane's group, as I understand it? With the possibility of a leak, we need to be careful until we're sure we can trust people. Though I guess trust always comes with an iota of doubt," Patrick says, glancing down at hands being held out to him. He frowns just a little, though he gives a nod, taking them in his own calloused hands. It is merely a show of support, of camaraderie for Joseph. Patrick Hale left faith behind a long time ago. His eyes will not close, nor will he murmur any words of Amen. But he can hold the hands of his fellow Ferrymen.

Taking the hands of those beside him, Joseph seems abstractly relieved that his bid for a little unity, in a way he can understand it, is more or less unanimously accepted, if acceptance is more like toleration in some cases. That's okay. He'll take it. A glance to McRae conveys some gratitude, and a glance to Cat conveys some apology.. He's certainly unprepared, but some of the better prayers are. "Then if it's okay with all of you," he says, after a second, letting his eyes shut, "I'd like to focus on the work we have ahead of us.

"I'd like to thank God for bringin' us together, and ask Him for peace in our discussions, and that He watch over us and guide us. I would not be a Ferrymen if I did not think the Lord had His hand in the work that we do, and so I ask, be with us, Lord, as we learn our own way through knowin' strength and compassion in the decisions we make, and may we know your wisdom and power as we seek to continue the good work we have ahead of us."

And may Joseph know how not to push his luck and keep it succinct—

"Amen."


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