A Lack Of Yelling


joseph_icon.gif melissa2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Lack of Yelling
Synopsis Joseph and Melissa discuss the recent events at the Den.
Date April 2, 2010

Brick House

In defiance of the winter, the Brick House has been made into a shelter of warmth since Joseph Sumter and Meredith Gordon took over its operations, and one of the ways in which this was help was by blocking off several unneeded rooms, condensing the amount of space they need to keep warm. However, since sunrise of the first, it's been a mission of preparing this space for the sick ones — not many, since Melissa's herd had scattered, with two of them in hospital, one of them under the care of the Company agent that had lended his help. But children, now, kids, that need shelter.

It's the morning of the second, and there's the thud thud of someone coming down a flight of stairs and into the living room. Joseph Sumter has a paper mask in his hand that he's since peeled off after dragging a battery powered space heater up into the new quarters of the sick. He's speaking to Melissa as they go. "I ain't entirely sure," the Tennessean is saying, "how long we can keep 'em this way. But probably for as long as y'all need. Gosh, I could use some coffee. How 'bout you?"

It looks as though Melissa hasn't really slept since evacuating the Den, with bags under her eyes. "Oh god yes. I swear I haven't stopped for more than five minutes since we got the call to ship everyone out," she says, yawning and rubbing a hand over her face. It has been a flurry of activity, getting everyone settled, even if the number was thinned out some.

"I still wanna know how they found out about the Den. Teo said that they knew it was a safehouse. And if that's true…well, we can't go back." She sighs and moves over to a chair, flopping down into it. "Which leaves us short one safehouse. Dammit."

Back turned to her, Joseph sets about pouring a couple of coffees into ceramic, mismatched mugs, chipped but clean and whole. On this side of the house, the windows aren't bricked over, though dimly covered in ironed on plastic to prevent warmth from leaking out. They have a greyish, smeary cast to them, but if one focuses, one can see the river beyond, and further still, the shape of Roosevelt Island and the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge.

"You'll want to look at who y'had comin' and goin'," he advises. "And when the dust is settled, maybe you can go poke around, see if they left any bugs or recordin' devices anyplace. Might've cleared 'em, though, if you did have a snitch — but I've had a similar thing happen under my watch too."

Turning back to her, he offers out the bright red mug, steaming, already brewed coffee brimming. "No idea at all?"

Melissa takes the mug and shakes her head. "None. I wish I did. And coming and going…" She ponders that as she sips at the coffee. "Magnes was there a few times, visiting Kendall. I don't really trust him to keep a secret. And I guess maybe Rebel might've had something to do with it too, since Brennan showed up just before they apparently found out about us," she muses softly, brow furrowed.

"But if it was Rebel, there's no way of finding out that I know of. I still don't know jack about the guy, and I'd really like to. Magnes would just swear that he didn't tell anyone, even if he did," she mutters. "I'm also worried that other safehouses might have been found out."

Sitting down, Joseph rests back into his chair, tossing the paper mask onto the table so as best to wrap both hands around warm ceramic. "Magnes, huh?" he repeats, as if he might know that name, but doesn't pry — just takes a long, appreciative sip of coffee. "If it was this Rebel character, well, alright. Let's say there ain't nothin' you can do to prove it, and set it to one side. Make a list in your head on who came and went, and maybe— Brennan's holdin' hands a little with the Department that sicced the police on the island, ain't that right?

"Maybe see if he can't find out anythin' about it. As far as other safehouses gettin' compromised, well. One day a time. You mentioned Else got left behind?" The woman had been an operator out of the same house they sit in now, so pointed question and the concerned furrow making shadows in Joseph's brow might make sense.

"Yeah. She was pretty damn sick. Couldn't really be moved, and we thought that maybe she'd be better off in a hospital anyway," Melissa answers with a nod, though she doesn't sound too happy about that. "People who were coming and going though were pretty much the same as usual. Kendall showed up via Magnes. Oh, and that Francois guy was sorta new to the place. Brennan and Liette…but I can't see Brennan tipping them off, and Liette doesn't even know how to use a phone. I don't see her for it either." Though Magnes and Francois seem to be fair game!

Having never headed round to the Den himself, Joseph only listens to her speculating, acting only to try and spark it rather than try and find the answer with her. "On the plus side," he says, after a moment, "we don't got much in the way of technology here either, so you won't have to worry about Liette gettin' tracked by Rebel." Though even as he speaks this reassurance, it seems thin and ashy and the least of their worries, not even as much comfort as a warm cup of coffee can provide, no matter how long ago it was brewed.

He huffs out a sigh, which still manages to show steam even inside, it's that frosty. "Andy'll kick me for it but I might take off a little later and scout out Meadows and see what's goin' on. I'm Registered and healthy, so I should be alright."

Melissa glances down into her coffee, nodding. "Yeah…That's a plus. I really don't want to see her in their hands. She'd be used as a lab rat and possibly used against us." She shakes her head before letting it fall back. "Knowing what's going on would be helpful. Brennan stayed behind, but no idea if he'd be allowed to leave or kept there."

There's a faint smile on her lips now. "When I took the position at th Den, I had no idea it would be this stressful. I'm used to doing the work of a coyote, not an operator. I'm glad to do it, but damn it could drive a woman to drink."

"If'n you ever need a break, you could go lift crates and break in tunnels down at the GCT," Joseph says, with a twist of a smile. "Unless you like the sunlight at all, it ain't a bad distraction, and no responsibility over people whatsoever. 'course, it could be just your luck, that once the government's stopped— " dick swinging, is sort of what he wants to say, but he's still more or less a man of God, and so pauses and tentatively offers, "stopped showponying on over there, the Den'll be up and runnin' no worries."

Another sip of his coffee, before he's reaching towards the wee ceramic sugar holder and copper-coloured spoon sitting in the groove of its rim. Spoons up some crystal white to rain an extra serving into his black coffee. "But you're welcome to take a load off for a little while and just watch the kids upstairs. It's pretty slow 'round these parts. Mer' and I couldn't believe our ears when we got the call that y'all were comin'."

Melissa laughs softly. "The GCT? Joseph, I got a guy there too. Need to go visit him soon, see what he wants to do. If he wants to get out of the country or go back to work or what," she says, eyes closing.

"You sure that the Den will be good to go though? I mean, if they know it's a safehouse, then they come crash the party anytime. And at least one of the people who was staying there is wanted because he's evolved."

There's a slightly narrowed look from the pastor at the notion of someone new stayung at the GCT, but leaves it at that. If he starts worrying about more Ferry hubs than just the safehouse he's got, then, that can drive a man to drink. "It's a nice set up," Joseph says, after a moment of consideration and a long sip of coffee. "Real nice. And dependin' on what they're gonna do to Meadows, we might need a place out there. I wouldn't say you should go back any time soon, but once we figure out who sold it out and why, things might be different. Even after my church got compromised, we didn't just up and leave it — it was too useful.

"Give it a week, take a look around. See if they done touched anything, see what the weather's like. See what Harve thinks, too."

Melissa nods. "Yeah…hopefully Brennan will have an idea." Her head tilts slightly. "You gonna yell at me too for takin' someone to GCT? Do I gotta remind you as well that I'm still new to the city and don't know all the habits and whatnot? Hell, I tried to get a hold of you to bring him here, but guess you didn't have your phone on you or something. And I had to take him somewhere. The Lighthouse and Garden were out, the Den was out, I didn't wanna bring him into your place without you knowing about it, so…Grand Central."

"Hey now," Joseph says, on the tail end of her words, and his voice remains weary, still quiet, "first up, I didn't hear a word about it 'til just now. Second up, I didn't say a darn thing and sure ain't gonna yell at you when it ain't my business anymore. Unless Neil's already ridden your ass about it, sounds as though you know it was a mistake if you're leapin' up to argue about it. Fact is, GCT's a supply hub, and we'll never get another like it. We'll trust your judgment when it comes to lettin' people in and out. You say he won't compromise the terminal, then we'll go ahead and believe you."

A pause, and then a half-grin along with a light tone when he says; "Prob'ly mighta yelled a little if I were still down there. Little bit."

Melissa's lips curve into another smile. "Abby sorta…corrected me…when she found out I took someone there. I just didn't really see any good options. The one place I thought was safe was not someplace I could've taken him because of the sick," she explains. "But yeah, I wouldn't do anything to mess up what the Ferry's got goin' on. The work we do is too important for that."

Half-grin turns into more a genuine smile of understanding at that news, Joseph giving a nod before he sets about finishing his coffee as she talks. "Considerin' the work you've done for the flu-havers and the last 24 hours or somethin'," he says, as he stands to go put his emptied coffee mug aside, "No one'll doubt that. Here, you should go on and try to lie down for a while, and I'll see about takin' a boat on over to Meadows. I'll let you know what all I find, but I'll probably steer clear of the Den for now."

Melissa considers that for a moment, before she nods. "Yeah…yeah, I probably should. Won't be any good to anyone if I'm asleep on my feet. Guess I'm just paranoid. Especially since I have three kids here, Liette, and a teenager that I've…sorta adopted. Lotta pressure." But she rises to her feet, stretching a little before letting out another yawn. "Let me know ASAP what you find out in the Meadows?"

"I'll be back in a few hours," Joseph agrees, moving to collect up a coat slung over furniture in the corner of the room. "Try and uh." He pauses, lets his gaze travel over the still ruined cabinets, peeling paint, crates of supplies and the dead eye light in the ceiling fixture. It's still a fixer-upper, and he and Meredith have been in no real rush. "Get comfortable," he finally finishes, before tossing her a wave and moving off to the cellar and its underground exit.

At that Melissa laughs softly and nods. "I'll do my best. Go curl up with Jerry on my feet and try to zone out for an hour or two at least," she agrees. "Good luck," she says, heading back to wherever she's been trying to rest.

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