A Little Assistance


eileen_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Assistance
Synopsis It's what Melissa is asking Eileen for.
Date October 23, 2010

Tartarus: Melissa's Office

Short, largely uninformative phone calls have become almost normal between Melissa and Eileen. At least more normal than any other kind of interaction between them, especially since their last conversation at Mel's home. This time though, Tartarus was the place to meet, specifically in Mel's office, where things are quiet and there are no ears to listen in.

Security has been told to direct Eileen back to the office, and Melissa's already there, catching up on paperwork while she waits for the woman to arrive. She looks stressed, very, and extremely tired. But over all that, she looks determined.

If Eileen knew that a significant portion of Melissa's time has gone toward planning seasonally-themed parties at her night club, she might be less sympathetic toward the other woman's physical condition, but it's difficult to assign a degree of compassion to the neutral expression the Englishwoman wears on her face when she enters the office and chooses to linger close to the door even after the club's security has pulled it shut behind her with a gentle click.

Residual traces of anger leftover from aforementioned 'last conversation' may or may not rule her emotions. Glassy eyes and a pale, flat mouth betray nothing, and although she wears no make-up this afternoon to speak of, her dark hair has been pulled back into a taciturn twist at her nape, doing nothing to soften her severe demeanor.

The sound of the door opening, and the noise that comes with it from the club outside, has Melissa looking up the motioning for Eileen to have a seat on the couch to her left. "Have a seat if you want, though I don't imagine this meeting will take too long, and I'm pretty sure you don't really want to be here," she says, her voice as neutral as it can be.

But the last meeting weighs on her mind, at least to some degree, and she can't help but inform the other woman, "Kendall's alive, as I'm sure you know since he's now hiding out with your people until my probation is lifted."

Leather creaks. Eileen's right hand, covered in soft lambskin, curls into a fist around the grip of the plain white cane she carries in place of a bird at her collar, but if Melissa is paying attention, she may notice a fluttery flicker of abrupt motion in her peripheral vision, a catbird making a charcoal gargoyle of itself on the lip of the window closest to the manager's desk.

She does not sit. "Am I here to discuss Kendall?"

"No," is Melissa's answer as she leans back in her chair, righting against rubbing at her temple. "We're here to discuss Rupert Carmichael, and me asking you for help." She looks over to the bird, studying it for a moment before continuing, while watching the bird. "You know who Carmichael is, I'm sure, with him being in the news and all?"

"Kaylee has made me aware of your situation," says Eileen. "I told her to relay a message: specifically, that Messiah would have all the help we have to offer with Carmichael. Either she didn't communicate my feelings on the matter or they weren't received. Either way, if it's my help you want — you already have it."

"I don't remember if she mentioned it before I left or not," Melissa admits. "But I'm glad to hear we've got your help, though I'm not…I'm not exactly part of Messiah anymore. They don't trust me, I think that what Rupert turned it into was a disaster. But we all have reason to want Carmichael caught. He's going to be the cause of the riots on the eighth."

She grabs a small bottle of water from a mini fridge next to her desk, and holds another up in offering, where the bird will be able to see it. "There are birds all over this city, though. Hell, New York is just about famous for its pigeons. You can communicate with them or see through their eyes or something, right? Not exactly sure how your ability works just that it involves birds."

The catbird gives a twitch of its wing tips at the bottle's appearance, studying Melissa from the other side of the glass and seeming more interested in the woman than what she holds in her hand. "No, thank you," Eileen says of the offering, "but yes. My ability works best within a specific radius. Circumstances permitting, however, I can work outside of it and push my limitations. What is it specifically that you need?"

"We need to find Carmichael before he can mindfuck anyone else into doing whatever he wants," Melissa says as she settles down again, opening the bottle and taking a deep drink. "We've got people checking places he might go, people he might go to. I'm going to see if Wireless will help us by monitoring for any electronic activity by him. But he's a resourceful man, and the more people we have looking, the better. And with there being thousands of birds in the city, I was hoping that you and your birds could keep an eye out for him. You've got access to more eyes than any of the rest of us."

Eileen's chin tucks into a nod, and she folds her small hands at the top of her cane, gloved fingers interlaced. One appears thinner than the other, but that can't possibly be right. "There's a distinct difference between keeping an eye out and actively searching. I can do more for you if I have access to an augmentor like Gillian or a sample of Amphodynamine, which means I'll be contacting either Hiro Nakamura or Daniel Walsh. I'll need some for the eighth as well, regardless of whether or not we're able to find Carmichael, but if any of your contacts have a method of obtaining the drug, I would be immensely grateful."

"Who's Daniel Walsh? Is he a time traveler? Because if it's something that's only available in the future, I don't think there's anything I can do. If it's something the Institute has…It might be doable and I'll do my damnedest to get some." Melissa grimaces faintly. "I'm pretty sure it couldn't hurt for me to have some on the eighth too, to try to lessen the pain of all the shit that's gonna go down."

"If you don't know Walsh, it's best if we keep it that way. I'll make an appointment early next week and see how much he's willing to part with, if he has any at all." There's a beat of hesitation, some unspoken thought bubbling against Eileen's lips, but she ultimately releases it in the form of a thin sigh that whistles soundlessly past her teeth. Most likely it has to do with money, and whether or not avoiding the Institute is worth what she's going to pay Walsh. "Am I wrong to assume that you've enlisted Brennan's help as well?"

"Not yet, but he's on my list. Though I was also hoping to get my hands on some negation drugs as well, just in case," Melissa says, shaking her head. "This Walsh though…is he Ferry or something, or are you gonna have to threaten, beg or bribe to get the drug from him?"

"Independent contractor," Eileen explains. "Smuggler. Operates off of Staten Island when he isn't pretending he's clean. He's good for weapons, ammunition, but he's a bit of a snake and I'd rather cuddle up to a live cobra. He'll want money. I don't know how much."

Melissa's quiet for a moment. "Let me know how much, and I'll get it for you," she says softly after a moment. "If it helps us put a stop to the riots, or at least lessen the impact, then it'll be worth it. And if you think of anyone who might be able to help us find Carmichael, let me know. Aside from Brennan and Wireless I also intend to try to get one more person." And here her voice drops to a mutter, "If I can figure out which is him and which is the clone."

Something sly twitches at the corner of Eileen's mouth, accompanied by a feline sliver of pearl white tooth, but it's gone before it can transform into something more than a mere facial tic. "You'll pay for your dose," she says, then, "and I'll pay for mine. I assume you're talking about Gabriel."

A brow arches, but Melissa nods slowly. "Yeah, I am. Didn't know he had a clone until that clone tried to kill us. I'd rather avoid getting scars from a father/son duo, even if one isn't the real son," she says wryly. "But paying for my dose sounds fair. Just let me know how much it is and I'll get you the cash."

"How fortunate for you that I know how to tell the difference." Arranging a meeting is clearly another matter, evidenced by Eileen's reluctance to volunteer the very information that she claims to possess. "If I might make a suggestion?"

Fortunately, getting a hold of Gabriel isn't the problem that telling him apart from his clone is. So Melissa nods. "I'm welcome to any and all suggestions. Especially ones that prevent further pain on my part."

"Don't get in his way if he wants to take Carmichael's ability," says Eileen, "whether or not you're of the opinion that he should have it. And if any of your people have any notions about stabbing him in the back now that Messiah is coming apart at the seams, see to it that they lose them."

"I've got nothing against him," Melissa says with a shrug. "He's helped out, and never done me any wrong. As for him taking Carmichael's ability…" She trails off, shrugs again. "So long as he waits for us to get the information we need out of him first, I don't give a damn what happens to that weak-willed, traitorous prick's brain."

"Then I'll tell him that you're looking," Eileen concedes.

Lips curve in a faint smile. "Any suggestions on how to tell him from his clone? A defect in the clone or anything like that?" Melissa asks.

"He's started to go a little silver. Gabriel," Eileen clarifies, "not the clone. Failing that, keep an eye out for a hawk. You should be safe if you see one looming about."

"Grey hair and a hawk, got it," Melissa says, nodding. "Thanks. I'll let you know if I hear any word on getting the drug cheaper than your Walsh guy can."

Melissa receives no thank you from Eileen, or at least not a thank you that she chooses to verbalize. She conveys her gratitude in her posture, fractionally less rigid than it had been when she entered the office, and the softness in her jaw. "You know how to contact me if you need to," serves as her farewell.

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