A New Warden


abby_icon.gif niki_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title A New Warden
Synopsis Niki lays out the plan as Abby's relays what it is that she can do and how. Rules are hammered out and Teo's contacted regarding part of his missing flock. Everyone threatens everyone else, while Abby remains a model prisoner.
Date December 8, 2008

Enroute to a safehouse in Brooklyn.

Jessica heads with Abby to the elevator. "Just behave, be a good girl, and we don't have any problems." she says once they're inside. "Understand?"

Abby nods, doing her best not to look like some whacked out evolved nurse just took her from her sickbed. "I understand"

Jessica smiles. Once the elevator reaches the ground floor, she heads to the front doors with Abby, and then steps outside, heading for the parking lot. She heads to a dark grey sedan, and unlocks the passenger door first, nodding to Abby. "Inside." Then the laconic blonde heads for the driver's side.

Temptation to lock the door once she's in, lock Niki out is great, but the remembrance of what the woman can do make the healer think twice. So she lifts the latch, pulls the door open with a polite soft "thank you" before she slides into the passenger side and closes the door. Quickly followed by seatbelt and her hand put on her lap where Niki can see. No need to provoke the woman.

Jessica smiles. "Good job. Now…" She starts up the car, and starts to drive. "I'm going to ask a few questions, and you're going to answer. If I don't like the answers, or they don't match up with what I have, I'm going to remove something you're attached to."

'Who are you?" Abby doesn't give her a chance to ask her questions, just fires one to her first. "How does Elisabeth know you and why did you do this, do what you did to Mary?" Heavens only knows when she's going to get to ask a question or be in a state of mind to ask it.

Jessica's answer to the question is a smirk. "I offered you the chance to answer my questions then. You chose not to. Your friend is on your hands, not mine. But it's funny what people will say under enough pain. So. Let's start with what you can do. How's it work?"

The death of Mary is indeed on her hands. She's prayed enough to be forgiven for that and knows it won't be coming soon. "God" Is abby's simple answer.

Jessica looks over, and narrows her eyes a moment. "Specifics. Does it work at range? How effective is it? Side effects? How long does it take? Is it permanent?"

"No. It doesn't work at range. Yes, the effects are permanent. It takes as long as it will take however god wills it. I can push it. There's warmth and tingle where I touch and at the injuries" She's answering really, out of the sheer fear of what the woman would do to her. "I can fix nearly anything" Abby's voice is small and she sits, submissively in the passenger seat, flickering her eyes towards the other woman. "I'm a faith healer. Deus lo Volt"

Jessica considers it. "Interesting." The wheels in her brain are turning. "Have you ever tried to heal mental illness?" She asks, flicking a momentary gaze to Abby again.

"I don't… " Abby's face falls. "I don't know…"

Jessica considers that. Well, certainly she isn't going to put her brain on the line to be the first guinea pig. That's all right. Just means she needs to procure something else. She pulls the car into an alleyway, puts it in park, and shuts it off. "Get out, turn around, and put your hands on the car." Now they're far enough away from the hospital that she can safely check Abby. She gets out herself.

The healer blinks at Niki before she nods, co-operation. 'Can I ask what… you intend to do with me?" Her hand closing around the handle, sliding out. She takes a moment when she stands, closes her eyes and fight off the nausea that's starting to well before doing what the psycho woman asks. "i'm going to be sick" She warns Niki.

Jessica looks amused. "Don't do it in the car. Or on me. Besides, I thought you're a healer…heal thyself, physician." She begins to check Abby-in-Elisabeth's-clothes, patting her down with an effective frisking technique. Anything she finds; keys, phone, and the like, are discarded in the alley.

Whatever that was in Elisabeth's pockets are found, notably the cellphone. Abby's hands planted flat on the hood of the car, a look akin to being violated sliding into place across her face. "It doesn't… It doesn't w…work that way"

Jessica steps back once Abby's things are divested. "You can't heal yourself?" she asks. "That would have been something to mention with the specifics."

"I can. I told you.. it's god. It's god and I don't… I won't waste it. Not right now. What I fix, I consume in.. my own energy. I have t..I have to ask god, pray for it"

Jessica crosses her arms. "Well, I'm not going to have you spewing all over the car." Not a religious woman is our Jessica. Nor a considerate one. "Fix yourself up." It's clearly a directive.

Abby looks over at the woman, her eyes going wide. "I need coffee"

Jessica looks amused. "God needs coffee to heal you? Or are you just a caffiene junkie?" She puts her weight on one leg, crossing her arms over her chest as she looks back with a faint smirk.

"You don't understand" Abby shakes her head slowly. "you took me from a hospital bed, sick people are in hospital beds. I don't…" Abby purses her lips and lifts a hand to ball it into a fist and thwack it down on the hood of the car hard. She starts praying then, soft plea's to Jesus and the Lord, but to no avail. Stressed from the last two days, her concentration is shot. Nothing happens.

Jessica relents a bit. "Fine. Take a deep breath, open the car door, sit down." She can't afford to stay here too long. Someone might be looking. "What's wrong with you?"

"Concussion, I was dragged and pinned beneath the pews by one of the evolveds at the church, my ribs, abrasions from moving against the wood to reach Brian, my .. Fiancee" She moves, still keeping her hands clear where Niki could see and sat back down, leaning over, putting her head between her legs, taking in lungfuls of cold air.

Jessica frowns. Concussion could be serious enough. "Catch your breath. When we start up again, keep your eyes shut. It'll reduce any vertigo. I'll stop and get you some coffee on the way. But we have to go." She goes back around to get into the driver's seat.

"Because they'll be tracking Elisabeth's phone" Niki's not dumb. Abby gets herself reseated in the car, door closed, seat belt back on. Her head back against the headrest, face towards Niki, though she closes her eyes. "You took me. So you could fix yourself? Someone you love?"

Jessica replies "Maybe." Which question she's answering, that's the rub. "Just relax. As long as you behave, I'll make this as painless and as pleasant as it can be. Don't give me reason to hurt you and I won't."

"You could have just asked" Abby murmurs. "I heal anyone who asks" She looks for a way to make the seat lay back a bit. "I'm Abigail. I always behave"

Jessica says, dryly, "You'll have to forgive me. I don't take a lot on faith." She finds it humorous, in any case. She proceeds onward, till she's out in Brooklyn, and then pulls into a local fast food place, getting Abby some coffee at the drive-thru.

"Maybe, you just haven't found someone to put your faith into. And I don't mean god" Success, the seat leans back. She keeps her mouth shut though for the rest of this leg of the journey. The coffee though, She can't wait to get it, holding the cup in her hands and close. 'Thank you" A small prayer under her breath for the caffine, sipping at the beverage black as sin. "You asked if i'm a caffine junkie" She looks over again at Niki. "Yes and no. I help people daily, like Mary, people who call who can't afford to go to a hospital or can't risk it. Energy out, energy in. Caffine is temporary energy"

Jessica sounds amused. She hands considers. "Right. So keep you stocked with energy drinks, and lots of food. Got it." Finally, she pulls the car to a stop at an apartment building. "Okay. Come on, let's go." She gets out to go escort Abby.

"My bosses don't give a care whether I spent the night take care of someone who got beat up, they only care that I show up and work and earn my money and bills don't pay for themselves" She takes her time getting out of the car, coffee still clutched like it's the only thing she owns and is so very precious. The door closed carefully behind her, she looks around with a press of her lips and walks with the blonde.

Jessica heads up with Abby through the building. When she reaches one of the apartments, she takes out keys, and then unlocks the door. "In." she says, and once Abby complies, she'll step in behind her, locking the door.

Like an obedient little dog. Abby nods, elizabeth's winter jacket wrapped around her, crosses the threshold, the thuds of the locks behind her making her flinch a little. Prison. Of a different kind.

The blonde looks to Abby. "Sit down, before you fall down. I'll cover the ground rules."

"I was just about to ask what the rules are" She looks for someplace close, arm chair, couch, dinner chair, something. "I'm ready"

The place is furnished, though it doesn't look like anyone's been in it a while. "I might need you to heal someone. Someone very important to me. But we're not going to try it until we know a little more about how your power works on people with mental illnesses. Now, if you cooperate, I'll treat you as best I can. I'll even make sure you leave with a healthy paycheck if it works. If you try and escape, or you cause trouble, I'll hurt you. Badly. So how this plays out is really up to you."

"I don't take money for what I do" She looks adamant about that. So. She'd been kidnapped to help someone close to her. Abby had seen what Niki could do. The cart heaved at Elisabeth. "Can I ask you something though? A request? I have two of them"

Jessica looks amused. "You can ask. I'm not making any promises, but you've behaved so far. Ask away."

'Friends are going to try and find me, track me down. They're very good at what they do. If I give you a number, and a message, can you give it to them. Just 'Pila's going to have her babysitter back, I promise" They'll know that it means i'm safe, and i'm fine. I don't want them hurt"

Jessica considers. "Sure." she says, after a moment's hesitation. Even with her expertise in the business, she doesn't see any way that could lead them here, even in code. "If they stay out of it, they won't get hurt." What happens if they don't is left unsaid.

Abby nods. "Pila's babysitter will be back, Deus lo Volt. If you have a pen and paper, I can give you the number. The other is that I'd like to go to church, on Wednesdays or Sundays. you can sit with me, you can stand in the back, I don't care. God has his hands in what I do and I can't do it without him. I'll come back with you to where ever you want me to sit, i'll heal whoever you want me to heal to get your answer" Abby regards Niki carefully. "Please"

Jessica frowns. "The first one I'll give you. The second one, no. Your friends will know your habits, they'll be keeping an eye on churches. Sorry, but your talking-with-God is going to have to be done from here for the time being." She takes out a cell phone of her own, though from inspection, it's clearly one of those prepaid, disposable types. "What's the number?"

Abby rattles off from her mind Teo's number, the 7 digits spilling from her mouth, accepting that she won't be able to go to church. "Then you'll have to tolerate the crystal cathedral."

The blonde dials. After a moment, there's a pause, and she says "Pila's babysitter will be back, Deus lo Volt." Then she waits. "What's she going to look like?" she says.

"What am I going to look like? Or do you mean Pila?" Abby's got one heck of a confused look on her face. "If you mean me. In one piece. I told you, I behave"

Jessica looks annoyed, and then hits the speakerphone button on the cell phone. "Talk."

There's a pause; dead air, as if the mute button was hit. Then the echos of the phone being on speaker phone, and the same voice. "Talk."

Abby's voice comes tiredly over the line. "Teo?"'

This time, the pause is readily registered as surprise. Teo's voice re-emerges, then: "Si." Any and all questions he has are constrained and compressed into that single Italian syllable.

The nameless blonde's voice sounds out too. "I don't have time or patience to play junior cryptology with amateurs. If you two have something to say, say it. Be aware that anything that tries to give away her location will get her hurt."

Abby's voice flares to life again of the line. "She needs me to heal someone. When it's done, if I'm able to do it, I'll be back. I promise. Don't come… please don't come looking for me. I don't think I could take any of you getting hurt. Deus lo volt Teo. Things fall into my lap"'

"There's nothing fucking cryptographic about Italian, signora—" His words bleed to a stop when Abby begins to speak: a listening silence. The stranger's voice is familiar to him, but not familiar enough. "No ifs. How much time do you need?"

Niki answers "I don't know. She can't answer a key question on how her ability works on people with certain problems. So we have to get a test subject first. That could take a while. If she behaves, and you behave, no one has to get hurt here. I haven't hurt her. I even bought her coffee." She says with dry amusement. "BUT…and make no mistake…I will hurt her if you or these other friends try to play boyscout."

"Tell Conrad I met someone worse than me. Tell Brian… tell him he's forgiven, I owe him a beer, and I should go Teo. My head hurts and my chest hurts and I need to lay down." Abby's voice wavering at the end. On her end of the phone, she's wiping at her eyes with Elisabeth's shirt sleeve. "I promise Teo. I'll be fine."

"By now, you know Abby heals anyone who asks. If you pardon my French, I don't give a fuck about coffee, signora. You kidnapped her and scared her shitless. Nobody fucking needs that. Give me a timetable, commit to checking in, and I'll consider sticking to baking brow— your what hurts?"

Niki's voice is a bit smug. "Yeah, well, life sucks sometimes. I need what she can do. I'm trying to be nice about this. There's a lot of people who would pay a lot of money on the white slavery market for someone who can heal." Her voice is flat as she says it. "So let's not try and push me. I should know more about a test subject inside the next 48 hours. I'll contact you at this number within that time and let you know how things are going."

"I was in a hospital, Teo." That's all Abby answers as she blanches from Niki's words. "You can't.. I'm a person.. I'm an American…" Her hand comes up to cover her mouth in horror at that thought.

"Those sound like people who could really use a healing by the time we're through with them," Teo answers, his voice prompt and just as flat. It's thoughtful the next moment. "Try twenty four? You make yourself sound efficient, and she'll need to recuperate." Quaver-beat. "What happens if she can't do it?"

Niki holds the line. "48. Believe it or not, coming up with a person with a rare medical condition who I can have vanish while we have Cathy Churchgoer here try to heal them inside 48 hours is efficient. If you want, I'll make a contact call in 24, but I may not have any updates to give you yet." There's a pause, and she considers that answer. "If she can't, then I'll drop her off at some location and she can call you for pickup."

Abby can probably imagine his eyebrows going into gymnastic contortions. Rare medical condition— what. He can't even believe he's thinking this, but eventually, he even says it out loud. "We may be able to help you find someone. If you were planning to let them go afterward." There's an unfortunate implication somewhere between here and there, he knows. The fact that he openly prioritizes Abby's life over that of some nameless sick patient's. If you were planning…

There's a pause. A fairly long one. "That would involve giving you people more information about my plans than I plan on doing." That same dry sarcasm. "No offense. But like I said… rare medical condition. If I tell you what it is, then that puts you too close to putting the people with it under surveillance." Because that's what she would do.

Abby remains quiet, her finished coffee placed to the side, waiting for her two 'wardens' to be done negotiating.

"We don't mind letting Abby heal people. Even if you do happen to be a kidnapper making threats on her well being: her Christian derangement's are part of the established terms and conditions of our relationship." Teo's voice has gone rather dry too. Whoever he is, he's somewhat less of a saint than the girl Niki has acquired for her use. "We could help get this done. Save you some hours on multiple trials and reading medical journals. Going once."

She considers it. Abby can tell it more clearly; the expression changes. But finally, she says "I'm going to try my primary contact first. If I don't have any luck there, I'll take you up on your offer when we make contact tomorrow."

Now it's Abby's turn to speak up. "Take it Teo. I'm taking it. I'm fine with these terms. It's me who has to live in this prison, and I'd rather my warden be pleasant than pissed. Makes my life easier."

At least Teo doesn't grind his teeth audibly. However, his Italian predisposition toward argument has developed reasonably strong skills in that particular department, and he knows when one is over. "Deal. Three AM tomorrow. This number won't change. Abby—" Nothing.

There's a click, as the phone call is hung up on.

Abby rubs her face carefully with her hands, If anything, there's more stress. But at least, at least Niki has 24 hours before the hounds start baying. "Thank you"

The other blonde looks back to Abby. "There. You see? We can handle this politely. Now comes the part that I have to handle a little less politely. Bedroom." She indicates it, pointing.

"Bedroom" The coat is unbuttoned/zipped, Folded in half and draped over the back of the chair. 'Is there something to change into or am I still to wear Elisabeth's clothes?"

Jessica nods. "You're gonna have to stay in those for a bit." Once they enter the other room, the blonde takes out a pair of handcuffs, and a length of chain. The first pair of cuffs gets one cuff hooked through a link in the chain, and the other to the headboard of the bed. The second gets similar on one end; through a link on the chain. She approaches Abby with the last, unclosed cuff. "You right-handed or left?"

'Right" Cuffed. To a bed. She didn't think that there could really, be much more that she could be subjected to. "Have faith. I'll behave. You won't need these" She offers up her left hand regardless. "Thank you, really. For the phone call"

Jessica closes the cuff around Abby's left wrist, leaving her right hand free. "The chain will give you enough room to get to the bathroom, and walk around this room. The window's nailed shut. If you break it, you'd better hope someone gets to you before I do." With that, she turns and exits the room, returning a few minutes later, with a pitcher of water, a glass, loaf of bread, jar of peanut butter, jar of jelly, and a butter knife. "I'll bring you better food when I get back."

Abby's sitting down on the bed while Niki returns, eyes closed, hands in her lap. "Thank you. One last thing" She opens her eyes, blue latching onto Niki. "What am I supposed to call you?"

She hesitates a moment, and then decides, what the hell. "Jessica. I also advise you not to try screaming for help. I'm leaving you ungagged so you can eat and drink. But if you try screaming in this neighborhood, you're more likely to get crack dealers who'll rape you than good Samaritans who'll help you." A pause. "I will try to make this as short as possible."

"Nice to meet you Jessica. Don't worry. I won't make this any harder on myself than I have to. Have a good night. Rest well" The foods ignored for now, she's tired and sore, just wants to sleep. "He or She must be very important for you to do this"

Jessica is quiet a moment, and then gives up a bit of information. "It's my sister. Go to sleep. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Tomorrow" Abby murmurs, as she goes about tugging off oversized boots and curling up on the bed. The start of a prayer heard as the young woman gets comfortable, drawing the blanket over herself and in the light of the room, little by little if Jessica lingers, the bruises on Abby's face begin to fade.

December 8th: More Than Names
December 8th: Check-Up and Pie
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