1984 and 3000


abby6_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Scene Title 1984 and 3000
Synopsis A small and spontaneous Ferrymen meeting is made to discuss the security of the GCT against a certain robotic invasion.
Date January 20, 2011

Grand Central Terminal: Subbasement

The lowest levels of the Grand Central Terminal is the stuff of legends and urban myth - turns out, it didn't disappoint. A mess of platforms, of tunnels, of steam pipes, and storage areas, there's been no real effort made to restore power to this place - be prepared to wield a torch or a glow stick (both of which are provided readily, unless you're an intruder…) or enjoy stumbling around in the oppressive darkness. Or at least, such is the case for most of this area.

Renovations are ongoing, but have progressed to this level as well. Platforms and their unused tracks are used for storage - where trains might have marked their gigantic metal forms, there are now boxes of supplies of many kinds, labeled and ordered for a time when they are needed. Minimal light systems have been set up for when work down here is required.

In addition to wider spaces being utilized, the smaller storage rooms have been converted for other purposes - residential spaces. These are basic but not uncomfortable, though chill sets in quickly if a space heater isn't handy. Some are private, some have space for two or three, some are merely rows of cots. Bathroom facilities have been installed, and some even have running water, but it's definitely a work in progress in comparison to the upper level.

It's been a while, since Joseph Sumter moved through the timeless realm that is underground portions of the Grand Central Terminal,a name that's stuck even after its repossession by the Ferrymen, because its purpose, in some respects, remains. Above them are the brightly lit concourses and the subway stations with the supplies stacked in boxes and on shelves; the gradually growing hospitable nature of some of the rooms for those with no choice but to stay here for days at a time; the fish mural on the concrete wall. Above that is the snow-packed ruins of the topside, a desolate disguise of broken brick, looted of its marble and resources.

And below both of these things is the dark and leaky labrynth of tunnels for trains, gas, human-sized access ways of mysterious intent. The ground is broken debris and uprooted train tracks, and disused vehicles loom darkly in the spotty, patchy cover of installed lights and the occasional glowstick. By the time anyone might be coming down here— whether on their way to relieve someone of patrol, to check or deliver supplies in storage, or even idle curiousity as to why a couple of council members have decided to swing by— the four figures of Neil Milburn, Joseph Sumter, Abigail Caliban and Kaylee Thatcher are moving as a group.

Their arrival is recent, going via the underground and greeted by one half of the twin set of the head of Logistics and Communication. Neil Milburn is mostly picked out from his brother by the fact he wears his hair shorter and his demeanor is generally more severe, even more so since his son got the Evolved flu last winter. And recovered. But certain things can be fundamentally changing, an earthquake beneath a city that still shows the cracks long after.

"We've only had one security issue for as long as we've had the place," he's saying as he leads the three towards the main of the underground level, away from where the tunnel glows orange. "And even then, the guy had to knock to be let in. And he knew what to look for."

Joseph is dressed for the winter, which is great, because it's cold down here. Layers, included a flannel lined jacket with a new quality to it, mittens without the closing off of fingers. He supports a duffle bag on one shoulder, something that looks like it's heavy, the contents of which remain mysterious to everyone except Abigail and Kaylee. "That's somethin', then," he mutters.

Layers are anyones best friend in the weather and like Joseph, Abigail's sporting them. Wool socks beneath heavy winter boots. Toque, hat, messenger bag, mits and scarf, she could keep her own heat but sometimes that can be tiring and it consumes a great deal of energy that can't just be replenished at whim anymore. "The kind of security breach that we'll be discussing won't knock and ask to be let in. If it's what a bunch of people think it is, it will likely have the capabilities I would imagine to get past a door with no small amount of force" Abigail's southern vocal is made nasal by the splint across her nose as she walks with the other three.

Arms are wrapped around herself in an attempt to hold warmth in, Kaylee paces along with the others. Despite having on a long sleeved shirt, a knit sweater and her worn brown leather jacket, she still feels the chill seep in, or is that from something else. A dark blue scarf keeps her neck warm, nose ducking down into the knitted wool to warm it when the cold threatens to make it runny. A matching hat is tugged down, making her long blonde tresses fan out across her back and over her shoulders in loose curls.

A hesitant sideways glance goes to the bag, brows furrowing. Arms unfold so that she can brush one gloved hand against the tip of her nose to itch it. She looks to Joseph and then offers Neil a touch of a smile. "With hope… and a little luck, y'all won't need it, but better to be safe then sorry." Kaylee was going to go quiet after that, but then a thought occurs to her. "Valerie get back down here alright?" Brows lifting as she questions the co-operator. Whether her sister is talkign to her or not, the telepath is still concerned about her wellbeing.

Coming from the opposite direction are footfalls of small feet that may or may not be heard, but the owner of those feet hears the voices; before recognizing them, for an instant she shrinks into the shadows, reaching into her courier bag for the weapon she carries, fingers curling around the gun until she realizes these are friends.

Clearing her throat so as not to surprise the visitors, Tasha steps out of the shadows and around the labrynthine curve to give a gloved-fingered-wave. "Hey," she says, dark eyes darting from face to face. "I was just going to go out for some supplies." She should check in on Joanna while "in town," as well. Again, eyes dart from one face to the other. "Everything okay?"

"These doors are metal, okay? Most of 'em." Only most. "Unlocking them takes muscle, let alone using brute force. What exactly are we up against in these drones?" Neil asks, steering a look towards Joseph in particular if only because he's more or less aware of what measures they've taken to seal off the access tunnels. Or at least, used to be. He doesn't answer, though, leaving descriptions and conversation about Valerie in the hands of the two women.

Too busy moving ahead and squinting towards the sign of movement. Relaxing, again, when he recognises who it is. Colette's experiment into sin. "Mornin', Tasha," he jovials, moving towards where boxes are stacked on a wheeling platform and hefting duffle bag up onto it. "Everythin's about as can be expected. How about yourself?"

Neil comes to a halt, shoving hands into his pockets and steering his dark eyed look from Abby, to Kaylee. "Valerie? She's— she got here fine. She's recovering. On crutches."

"Do I need to take a look at Valerie's leg while I'm here? Or do we need to get Megan down here?" Because nurse trumps EMT. At the question of robots, really, it should be Raith and those who were actually in the Amazon to lay it all out on the table for Neil. "How about Pastor Sumter show you, when we're in further and it won't turn into ruckus" Because it might, what he's carrying in the duffel. Tasha gets a lift of the former blonde's hand in greeting, someone she doesn't see often. Dating a girl that Abigail just flat out doesn't really get along with.

"It was her back, actually" Kaylee corrects Abby softly a little subdued, but she seems placated at Neil's answer. "She was refusing to leave the Library last I saw her." That her sister is back there, makes Kaylee relax some. She won't have to go wrestle her sister back to safety… or relative safety. IT wouldn't be much of a fight either.

The sight of Tasha gets a bit more a smile from the telepath, brightening a little Kaylee offers a, "Hey, " in greeting. She hasn't seen much of the girl in… well, a while. There are questions she'd like to ask, like is Colette down there, but that can wait.

"Yeah," Tasha murmurs to Joseph — as well as can be expected is about all anyone can ask, really. She stands a little awkwardly among her Ferry elders, even if two of them are just a few short years older than her. She shifts booted feet and glances down the track and back.

"I was just on a supply run, but it can wait, if you want me around for whatever you're doing," she offers, tentatively, her eyes moving to Abby, given the topic of medical needs. "Bandages or whatever, too. If you guys are going back to the island, I can get more supplies if you need them for there, too." She's registered, and she isn't wanted, so the freedoms afforded to her may make her more useful than in the past.

"Here's fine," Joseph echoes after Abby's suggestion, a tip of his head to indicate the emptiness of the underground cavern. Barring Tasha, to whom he says, "You may as well stay for a few minutes. We could use the opinion." The zwizz sound of a zip being jerked open acts as punctuation to decision making, hands disappearing into the duffle bag only to produce two items that shine silver in the low, erratic light.

They look like skulls. Heavy, metallic skulls, large enough that Joseph's muscles need to work a little when he goes to thunk them heavily down upon the stack of boxes. One is feline in its sleekness, with empty eye sockets and hardware torn and removed from within. The second has a more equine suggestion to it, with its jaw removed of all sensors, making it look a little more ordinary. Show and tell, with Neil shifting close to see.

"While you're here," the GCT leader is telling Abby with a shrug, before he turns his attention to the two skulls. Not so much unimpressed than he looks cynical — these things are cartoon characters. They have teeth. "Seriously?"

"I'm told Special Activies'll be on investigatin' these things. Some with experience in 'em. Raith'll tell you better what the heck this is supposed to be, but in case you weren't gonna recognise a giant robot 'til you saw it— " Joseph steps back, arms folding. "Abby was among those that knocked over a convoy that had whole boxes full of parts. These've been stripped of anythin' resembling a tracking device." Indeed, both skulls are simply a shell.

"We've been told that ones similar if not the same were encountered in Argentina during some help lent by some individuals within the Ferry and the rest of them are technologically enhanced. They also utilize evolved detection in the form of a compass. If they get close enough, they can detect a specific wavelength of energy that those who are evolved give off. Jonas was able to see it, and we were never able to get with him to work on a broken one that we had. But I've been told they're equipped with the same technology" Abigail sinks her hands into her pockets a nod to Tasha. "I'll scribble down a small list, if you don't mind." In response to the offer to get supplies before the EMT turns her attention back to the skulls.

Kaylee doesn't move closer to them, she saw enough of them when Joseph packed them for the trip. She'd rather stay far away from them, thank you very much. But blue eyes stay focused on them as if any moment they might shift, the wheels in the telepath's head turning, while arms wind around her as if to ward off that chill again.

Our future just keeps looking better.

She thinks, the hollow words are a bitter ghost of a whisper in Joseph's head. Whether she notices doing it or not is another thing. Kaylee gives a bit of a shiver, shaking her head as if to clear it. Glancing at Abby as she mentions them being about before, her brows lift a bit. It's not hard to tell there is a thought there, but she's largely keeping it to herself, head ducking down a bit dragging eyes from the metal skulls to the cracked cement beneath her feet.

"Opinion?" Tasha murmurs, cheeks blushing a little, though she clears her throat and moves closer to whatever it is Joseph is unveiling. Her eyes widen as she looks at the skulls, lips pressing together. Abby's explanation makes her brown eyes widen and she takes a step back, although she is hardly the target the robots would seek — she only would die for those who are.

Kaylee will be able to sense the fear that the simple-looking shells cause — perhaps it's the artist in her that she can imagine what they look like in all their "glory."

There's another swallow and she shakes her head, putting her hands into the pockets of her coat. "F-" she cuts that letter off, with a grimace and an apologetic look at Joseph. "I feel like I'm in the wrong year, somehow. Like it should be 1984 and like, 3000 all at the same time."

"So what. They sense out people like you three," Neil says, a glance from Abby to Joseph, "or my son, and attack them? Find them? This place sees SLC-expressive people go through it every day."

"We take precautions. First up, no one goes topside the building, not any more. Hell, think about moving operations lower underground," Joseph says, a glance towards Kaylee and a rueful pull to his mouth. "Second— " Now he tips a look towards Tasha, allowing a smile for her. "Looks like y'all Non-Evo folk might need to do a bunch of the footwork these days, if it's true about them being able to sense people like us. I just— what I don't want t'see is us havin' to evacuate."

"What if they get in the tunnels?" from Neil, waving away Joseph's optimism.

"They do Mister Milburn. Individuals and pockets of individuals. I might be able to borrow a compass that works, not a digital one and show you how it works. But it'll give you an idea I suppose of the range." She can ask Nora what's happened to Howards compass, whether he took off with it or whether it's in someone elses hand.

"But I agree with Pastor Sumter. Go deeper, we have the capabilities. Shore up more weaker points, make sure there's an evacuation point, I'm going to be talking with someone who knows something about them, and hopefully others who have run into them and see what we can find out. If they have any weaknesses and the best way to combat them. But we don't know whether they'll come down here at all, but unlike a person, if it got lost, if it could get lost down here, it could in truth, keep going till… it's battery wears out or whatever powers it, so there's that… small… potential"

Which twists her guts at the thought. "Those who are like you and Tasha will have to do the running topside, and movement to and from here will be limited extremely and special activites will draw up an evacuation plan, lord forbid, it be needed. If it's okay with you. Better safe than sorry right?"

"There a way to rig up some sorta camera system? Something?" She glances at Abby and Joseph, brows lifting a bit, as Kaylee speaks up again. "Isn't that what Richard's business is all about? Him and his lot might have ideas on how to at least give some sort of advanced warning."

Straightening a bit and casting a nervous glance to the heads, she adds, "Gives a chance to get people deeper and maybe…" Kaylee seems almost reluctant to say, "… intercept? Both would keep Grand Central safe. Especially if we have enough warning to lead it away?" The last becomes a question as uncertainty makes her hesitant to add more.

Tasha's hand has come to her mouth, to chew on her thumbnail before she realizes she's still in gloves, and the hand is shoved in the pocket once more. "I don't mind doing more footwork," she says quietly. "I'll do whatever you guys need." The words are earnest in tone, the worried expression Tasha often wears back as she glances back in the tunnels, the direction she'd come from.

"Cameras are a good idea," she nods to Kaylee. "Maybe even… this is going to sound really dumb, but like … booby traps, maybe. Sound makers, stuff like that. Something like M-80s that we'd hear if they walked on them?"

Cameras has Neil's shoulders stiffening, but Joseph cuts in before he can really protest with, "Just talk to Jensen and Benjamin about your options. Maybe installing security wouldn't be a bad idea— "

But apparently not good enough as Neil cuts in with, "No businesses. Half the security firms in this town are getting leased out to the government. If we're gonna have anything, it has to be all us. Can you imagine— can you think about what would happen if any footage was released? We won't need robots to compromise the Ferry's supply hub, we just need the threat of them." Joseph's hands hover in a sort of open palmed placation, and Neil lets his shoulders relax some, hands on his hips as he sends a glance to Tasha.

Neil in a bad mood means he is only capable of kind of silent agreement, so he shrugs at her. Sure. They could rig things up. And he goes back to squinting at the two heavy skulls.

"Maybe your, uh. Your brother's got suggestions. Even equipment?" It's a topic that Joseph's been considering, and now that he approaches it, it's in an understated, meanderingly casual sort of manner. "If he's involved in any of the technology, I mean, maybe you could approach the subject without tipping out hand at all."

Mouth opening some to say something more about the man that could have been her brother, but again uncertainty hits her again. Her mouth snaps shut and she gives a sigh of frustration. There was a time she might have argued and fought it, but… that was five years ago. She feels… out of shape and out of synch.


The name is reluctantly spoken. Like it's had to be forced out of her. Kaylee sends an apologetic look to Joseph, not sure if she should have said the name out loud. "He…" She starts and then stops, glancing at the skulls again. "I don't know if he is involved with that technology, but… his ability is Mechanical Intuition." A nervous looks goes to Joseph, he can see the war going on behind blue eyes.

Finally, she does admit… "He'd know how to stop it, if he's studied them at all." Kaylee trails off again. A glance goes to Neil, before she asks Joseph more privately. What about the risks? Is it worth it? She may be five years closer to his age now, but he still has a decade on her. So she defers to his wisdom.

And she made a promise.

"If there's money — I mean, I can get some, but…" Tasha begins, nervously, shrugging. "I can buy equipment if you need it. I don't know what to get so if Robin can tell me," at this, she turns to look at Neil, "that'd be great. I can get some cash, I have probably a few hundred in savings, and I can probably get some more from my mother, but obviously I don't want to pull my mom into this if I don't need to, not with her work and all." There's a slight smile at the openness with which she can now discuss her parentage these days, if a humorless smile.

"And I'll only buy any equipment on cash so it can't be linked to anyone of course, and like… not all at one place. Spread it out, make it harder to connect to one person. If we want to do it ourselves." At the name Warren, she glances at Kaylee, not recognizing it. "Is he someone we can trust? I don't know him," the teen says quietly.

"No, I agree with Mister Milburn. We keep this within the Ferry." She knows Warren. Knew him too when he was a crazy guy camping out in a garbage can outside her bar with a gunshot just to make sure she could heal. "But installing some sort of advance warning, some non lethal traps as well that will hinder both robot and human would be a wise thing to do and one that Special Activities will be told to look into. I"m sure Raith and Ryans would more than agree to those tactics. We are running really low on safe houses at the moment and while my first instinct is to abandon this place when I first heard about the robots roaming, I'm realizing that we can't afford to give it up and we should do everything to ensure that we don't have to"

"There's no replacing this place," Joseph says, a sort of sidelong glance at Abby that says more than simply agreement. Exasperation for something that is not clear in the immediate conversation and too petty to actually verbalise in front of his girlfriend, a branch leader, and a long time operative. He huffs out a sigh, and for now, ignores the gentle telepathy echoing through his head for the time it takes to say things out loud. "Alright. Let's just assume f'now we're not gonna be recruiting any outside help."

Turning back to the boxes, he begins to repack up the skulls, binding them in fabric before settling them into the duffle bag, hefting the strap back up onto a shoulder. "We probably haven't even scratched the surface of all the problems to do with this thing — what say we go split up and make a list of 'em for Jensen to handle, reconvene f'lunch?"

I don't know, is offered back to Kaylee. Probably not right now. But that may have to change.

Lips thin a little, but Kaylee doesn't disagree. In fact, she agrees with them, but she doesn't look at them as eyes cast down to the floor again, her head giving a slow bob up and down. "Yeah." Bland describes the word, soft as it's spoken.

But when her head lifts again, Kaylee casts a glance to Joseph. Something has a occurred to her, but she stops herself short from saying it. Very aware of others, she keeps it between the two of them. I have an idea.

A hint of a smile threatens to tug at the corner of Kaylee's mouth, but her eyes continue to hold that uncertainty. But I made a promise to my sister, so… it's for your ears alone, for now. Since they are planning to work out other issues for the robots and protecting Grand Central, she takes a step back away from those heads. So when we have a few moments alone… She'll explain.

This is a time she's thankful that Edward led his girls to find each other. With a glance to the skulls, Kaylee privately wonders if he predicted this.

At the mention of list making, Tasha rummages in her courier bag — there's not that much she can do that's helpful, but supplies, she has, and to spare. She pulls out a couple of slim spiral-ring notebooks, one already folded back to the supply list she'd been about to go fill. Pens come out as well, and she offers them silently to the others, whoever wants to play secretary on their inventory walkabout.

"I don't think we'll ever scratch the surface period of everything with everything" Abigail reaches over, taking one of the notebook from tasha, digging up her own pen. She's got neat and proper easy to read printing and handwriting thanks to her mother that most everyone can actually read. She's oblivious to whatever secret murmurings there are between Kaylee and her boyfriends mind.

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