A Long Game Of Telephone


brynn_icon.gif emily4_icon.gif lance_icon.gif squeaks5_icon.gif

Scene Title A Long Game Of Telephone
Synopsis It might not be career-advisable, but Emily and Lance bring home what they know about the kidnapping attempt on Squeaks and circle with her and Brynn.
Date February 2, 2021

The Lanthorn

"Hey," Emily had said, paused by Lance's desk. "Want to get out of here and go check on Squeaks?"

Together, they had boarded the ferry back to the Safe Zone earlier than usual to assist with doing just that. The earlier briefing in the day regarding the attack that took place at Raytech had made it hard to focus on much else. For her part, Emily knew she'd just feel better having seen her friend in person following news of that event.

She's close on Lance's heels when he opens the door to the Lanthorn. The youngest of the Lighthouse had been seen dozing in the living room when he'd left that morning for work. "Squeaks?" Emily calls out into the space. "You here?"

The sound of Doodlebug making a 'wuff' is followed by slow footsteps with an extra thump of a cane. The petite brunette who peeks around the doorframe from the rebuilt living room space is wary. Her right hand signs rapid-fire in LHCant, What's wrong? Who is she shouting for? It definitely wasn't Lance's voice, so it has to be Emily's.

And speaking of, she waves at Em. Who was definitely not shouting, it's just that Brynn has zero idea about what 'normal' volume looks like. Especially not with Joe's exuberance as comparison.

Lance makes sure to close the door behind them both, sliding the lock into place before running back - hands moving in a quick dart back in Brynn’s direction. Squeaks. She wants to check on her after what happened at her work. Sometimes Lance uses too many pronouns and not enough proper nouns.

“Yeah.” Squeaks’ voice carries well enough to be heard, but lacks the usual energy it carries. Last night was a long night, evidenced by the teen’s witching hour arrival. And she's still curled up on the couch, almost exactly as she'd been when Lance left this morning, head cradled in her arms and knees tucked to her chest. Her eyes are open though, watching.

Emily stops short in the doorway on seeing Brynn with a cane, the tight knit of her brow breaking apart like a snapped piece of yarn. "'s just us, Bug," she says softly for no one's benefit but the dog. Her throat's tight, heart trying to make its way into that small space. She wants to ask— but knows well she wouldn't want anyone to pry, were she in Brynn's shoes.

So reluctantly, she tears her gaze away from Brynn— twice, because the first time it doesn't entirely stick— and finds Squeaks curled on the couch.

It's been a while— a long fucking while, actually— since she's needed to reach for sign language, but she does, engaging in the polite habit of repeating what she's saying out loud. Her feet carry her over to the couch directly. "Hey, are you okay? They had fucking security footage of people trying to grab you." Emily can't keep herself from frowning, dropping to a sit in front of the youngest girl's feet. Her hands cut corners— 'camera' and 'snap' going in place of security footage. "Fucking terrifying bullshit, even if they ended up arresting the guy."

'Arresting'. Yeah, Emily. Sort of. Yes and no, given the state the guy's in.

Brynn tips her head at the explanation and then as she watches Emily's explanation, she looks alarmed. Her right hand shoots upward and fast-signs in Cant to Lance, What the hell?? AGAIN?? There is a panic to Brynn's expression. The last time, we didn't even see them coming. And now they've all had strokes and are potentially in danger of dying of whatever has been done, and now they tried to grab Jac again?!?!?!

Hey, look, Lance — not one single fumble in her signs! Brynn doesn't even realise she's done it, either.

She was at Raytech. We have some leads. That is probably not something that Lance should be admitting to, even in sign, but this is his family they’re talking about. Then he’s looking back over at Squeaks, adding firmly, “We’re gonna get these guys. I promise.”

He waves a hand, beckoning Brynn in before looking back to the youngest member of their weird little family-slash-crew, “There was a huge meeting and everything.”

“I'm okay.” Except for being tired and a little roughed up, Jac appears no worse than she did before the incident. She sits up, legs folded into criss-cross, as Emily drops onto the couch. Her eyes take in Brynn’s panic and then Lance’s assurances, just nodding slowly.

“What does SESA know?” She looks at Emily as she asks, relying on Lance to translate for now. Her own hands are a bit fumbly when it comes to signing, and she's keeping them tucked under her arms and against her middle. “The agent that was there wouldn't tell me much, except that SESA was leading the investigation.”

Emily hesitates for a moment, not sure just how much can be said. "They're working on finding out more. It's just day one. But they've got a positive ID on the guy who was arrested and the woman who looked to be working with him. They're putting together an entire taskforce around this, Squeaks. They're taking it really seriously. So you don't have to worry about that— we're going to figure this out."

Her and Lance included on that.

"You staying here for a while?" she wonders as much as suggests by asking. Anything so she'd be around as many people as possible should someone try to grab her again.

Brynn makes her way slowly to one of the other seats in the room — apparently she was sitting there letting Jac rest when Lance and Emily came in the front. She looks between the junior agents and then pins Lance with a look, waiting for the answer to Jac's question. She does add one of her own, though — They have an ID? Does that mean they know who he works for or anything??

Her signing, even to Emily's eye, is stilted, but it's a lot smoother than it was when this all first happened to Lance's perception. Brynn is remaining in Lighthouse Cant only because it lends itself more easily to one-handed conversation.

Lance gives his head a slight shake, hands moving a bit in Brynn’s direction to translate his words even as he speaks them aloud for Jac’s sake. “No, we don’t know who they work for yet. Mercenary types, but we’re working to trace them back. It’s the first good lead we’ve had, so we’re not gonna waste it,” he says with determination, “As soon as we have something solid that I can tell you guys, I will.”

Even if, probably, he’s not supposed to. Family is family.

Is she staying a while? Jac frowns slightly, trying to imagine the rest of the day's tasks while following the vague details of the investigation. “Just…” She'd already missed enough school to call the day a wash, she might make it to Raytech later. After that, though… “I do need to go home eventually, but… for a while.”

More importantly, “Who were they?” Jac looks at Lance like she might shake it out of him. “The ones that tried to kidnap me.” Then she lifts her eyes to Emily, plainly asking to be brought up to speed.

Emily glances to Lance for a moment, like she might look for his direction, or his silence on the matter. But she opts in the end to say something after all, shifting so she can be seen by both Brynn and Squeaks. She speaks only in sign, moving slow.

This stays between us. They don't know who they work for yet. It's just day one. But one of them, the guy, he was Russian. They say he went by 'S-a-n-d-m-a-n.' His name is 'I-o-v'. He was an ex-agent, living in Germany. His ability makes people sleep. The woman who escaped, they don't know as much about. They think she is a twin from England with the last name 'A-r-c-h-e-r'. All they know is what they saw on camera— that she looks like she can teleport or open portals.

She hesitates, thinking on more. With Lance here, there's surely safety in speaking out loud, but this way ensures Brynn understands everything, too.

There was something wrong with Iov. Well, not wrong just— Someone changed his body. He was able to take bullets without even breaking his skin. Emily thinks for a moment longer before relenting with a simple, It's really crazy.

Brynn's brows pull down into a frown as she considers what's been signed. He wasn't just invulnerable? There've people with that ability, she knows. But Emily is saying it's different, and Brynn doesn't like that idea at all. Jac got experimented on and changed and now this guy too?

She doesn't speak up about the fears that are making her stomach upset, but she makes herself a mental note to give serious consideration to going home to Brian. This feels like it's out of hand, and she is not in the best shape to be smack in the middle of a field of combat she doesn't even understand.

Then again, they kidnapped her from this very place. How much more or less safe will she be in the wilds of Canada? Brynn merely signs back, a little dejectedly, Crazy seems to be the theme of our lives. She doesn't like this kind of crazy.

It seems to be more than Lance was expecting Emily to give out - and he flashes her a broad, approving grin for her openness, reaching out to clap her on the shoulder briefly. One of us that gesture says, in reminder and acceptance.

Not Slice stuff. Tech stuff., explain his hands briefly, and then he does the robot.

Yes, the dance. He’s trying to make Brynn smile even while trying to explain what happened.

“He…” Jac starts by speaking, but only gets one word out and that drags to an eventual end as she thinks about it. A breath escapes her in a resigned huff before she starts signing her thoughts. I-O-V seized. Like us. A quick motion of her hands indicates herself and Brynn. Is it… his abilities maybe related to what happened? It’s a long shot, and the teen knows it's just as likely to be coincidence. Still, it's hard not to ask that question. Maybe he's a link to getting the passengers back to normal.

Did anyone have any guesses why they tried?

Glancing sidelong at Lance and his dance, Emily can only shake her head. "No," she sighs, long-suffering. Her hands fall to her lap. "None that got shared with the likes of me and Lance, anyway."

Brynn rolls her eyes quite theatrically at her brother. Wow. Just wow. But it does make her laugh. Still, she looks at Jac and Emily with a sigh. They're no worse off than before… yet. Although she doesn't like the kidnapping parts very much at all. Do they know who tried? she signs slowly. She doesn't expect an answer to that either — not really. But still, she has to ask.

It’s only after the hint of a smile that Lance stops, then, and he shakes his head, hands echoing his words, “No. Hopefully they can find it out from this guy, or by tracking his movements - it’s a good, solid lead though.” There’s hope, there. Maybe they can finally get some answers. “I’m hoping to get on the case.” He sounds confident about that.

With a small dose of side-eye to Lance, Emily wonders, "Isn't that a conflict of…?" but she trails off the longer she thinks about it. Hell, every agent knew Squeaks. She had been one of their own. Maybe it's not as large of an issue as she would think.

Lance just winks back at Emily at her question. What does that mean?

Jac makes a face, something that falls between vaguely disappointed and puzzling. It's disappointing that there aren't many leads, like why her out of anyone else. But at least there are some names to go with the faces. “Hopefully you both get on the case,” she interjects. Conflict of interest or not. “Just promise you'll keep me in the loop?”

With a small sigh at the negative answer — she didn't really expect more — Brynn just offers Lance and Emily a nod. She doesn't even feel disappointment on it. She's more simply accepting.

With a small, faint smile, Emily promises, "We will." even though she casts Lance one last look out of the corner of her eye at his clear cheek.

Looking back to Squeaks, she leans forward to shake the younger girl by her knee. "Come on. I bet you've not even eaten yet. Let's go out and get something nice." She turns her head up to Brynn to sign after, Want to grab some food?

“Of course we will,” Lance replies, eyebrows lifting at Jac, “We’re family. All of us. Even if Emily is about to give me a look.” He grins, confident in this assertion.

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