A Nuclear Problem


barbara_icon.gif doyle2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Nuclear Problem
Synopsis Eric Doyle brings a warning from an - unnamed source - to a member of the Ferry council.
Date December 20, 2010

Bannerman's Castle

The name Bannerman's Castle is as deceiving as its appearance; built stone by stone more than a century ago, the now crumbling fortress, seemingly derelict, was in its glory days used as a military surplus warehouse and still carries the faded words //Bannerman's Island Arsenal on one of its walls. Time and neglect have since taken a hefty toll on the property, which belongs to the Maxwell Development Corporation in name, but is in reality much more than a prized relic.//

On the outside, ivy creeps up its walls, some stripped down to skeletal supports and others as strong and stalwart as the day they were erected. In the decades that Pollepel Island has been abandoned, nature has reclaimed a large portion of the castle where its roof has caved in, creating courtyards of stone and saplings, thorny bushes and wire fences put up to section the most tangled hollows off. A few have been cleaned up, exposing worn stone floors that serve as gathering places for the people who live inside the ruins, and where the walls are tallest, shielding one open cavern from the mainland's view, there is a metal drum to burn fires in and large chunks of stone arranged around them in a circle.

Inside, Bannerman's Castle has been repurposed by the Ferrymen network as northern stronghold with its own electrical grid powered by basement generators, though most of the castle is lit by gas lanterns and candles to conserve fuel. Tall ceilings reinforced with wooden rafters are a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the kitchen.

Also in the basement are the fortress' supply rooms, which are kept under lock and key and contain everything from cured meats to additional linens, firearms, ammunition and fuel for the generators that power Bannerman. The living quarters and infirmary are located on the ground floor in the corner of the castle that's most intact, and while the narrow corridors are drafty, a lot of time and effort has gone into insulating the rooms themselves as best they can be insulated with what supplies were available and fit the budged allocated to the network's reconstruction efforts.

It's been a bit of a restless night for Barbara Zimmerman, being back on Pollepel Island after nearly a week spent on the mainland trying to hunt down her sister. The evening previous had been spent largely in search of Joseph or Eileen, but unable to secure either of them for her discussion she needed to have, she had instead taken to continueing to look over the information she had received from Jessica, a bit of a scowl on her face as she considers exactly what it all entails.

For most of this late morning, that's exactly what she's been caught up in again, sitting in a spot on the outer edge of the castle that is more shielded from view, bag at her side. The folder peeks just out of the corner, but it is no longer what Barbara holds in hand. Instead, her sketchbook has replaced it, a mechanical pencil in hand as she tries to sketch out a view of the water from memory - it's only about half accurate, but it looks rather good regardless. She's distracted and engrossed in her drawing, not really paying attention to passerbys as she tries to think about something besides the fact that her mother may, in fact, be alive.

Eric Doyle was asking a few of those about this evening about someone with authority who were more approachable than some of the more — intimidating members of the council. He'd rather not talk to Noah, for instance, the man scares the hell out of him. And he'd ask too many questions. So he was directed, instead, to the recent returnee on the Council that's settled in drawing to the outer edge of Bannerman's Castle.

As he comes into sight of her, he hesitates briefly. "Missus…" Damn. He didn't ask what her last name is. After an awkward moment, he clears his throat, "…Barbara? Um, hi, do you— uh— do you have a moment? I mean, if you're busy, I can— I can go."

The sudden voice speaking to her is startling, enough that she actually jumps a little, her hand jerking and causing the lead of the mechanical pencil to snap off and roll somewhere she can't really see at the moment. Not that it matters, she has pleanty more in her bag. Once she recovers, hand over her chest, she looks up in Doyle direction with a bit of weak smile. "You shouldn't sneak up on people like that," she jokingly chides, setting the sketchbook down on her bag as she rises to her feet.

"Eric, yes?" She's had limited introduction with the keeper of teh Lighthouse Kids - one of them at elast, and it has her tilting her head curiously. "You're fine, I was just… drawing to take my mind of something. What can I help you with?"

"Sorry." Eric rubs one big hand against the side of his neck a few times, his expression a little sheepish, "I didn't mean to— I mean, I know how it is. I get kind of involved when I'm working with— anyway, anyway!" He waggles one hand through the air in a quick, back-and-forth dismissive motion before walking over towards her where she's sitting. In his other hand, he's holding a manila envelope.

"I… needed to talk to someone, I've got some information that needs to be passed up the chain of command," he offers, smiling nervously as he clasps the envelope in both hands in front of him, "You're on the Council, right?"

Barbara's nose wrinkles at that news - more because it seems things seem to be piling up lately than anything else. Her eyes glance down to the manila envelope as if she just knows that it has something to do with this. "I am," she replies with a smile that belies her previous reaction, "so I'm glad you came to find me. How serious is it?" she asks in a low voice, looking around. "In case we need to… relocate." It's a low traffic area they're in, but there is traffic none the less.Bending down, she begins to gather up her things regardless of the answer. "It's not about the children, is it?"

"What? Oh, no— no," Doyle shakes his head vigorously, "It's not that— we're not in danger or anything, and the kids are fine, it's just…" He trails off, trying to get his train of thought back on the rails. He starts to offer the envelope, then pulls it back, clearing his throat, "It's— I have a friend, she doesn't know about the island, but she knows about the Ferry. She's— involved. In things. I met with her last time I was on the mainland, and she asked me to pass something about about a— a guy, who might try and find shelter with us."

"Hmm." There's a thoughtful look on Barbara's face, only breaking it as she threads a lock of red hair out from in front of her eye and behind her hear. "Who's the friend, if you don't mind me asking? It's… we have to be careful, particularly if we're taking in people on other's requests." Another glance down to the envelope, and then back up at Doyle. "But if someone's going to be looking for us, that's good to know. We've had a few of those lately." Hands slip casually into jean pockets, Barbar leaning against the wall beside her. "I'm glad to hear it's nothing too serious, though. We need as little of that as possible."

"They didn't ask us to take them in, they… it's sort of the opposite." There's a pause, and Doyle quickly adds, "I'm not saying that we shouldn't either, that's not up to me, but they wanted to pass on a warning about the guy." He takes in a breath, trying to relax, "The guy's name is Amid. Amid Halebi. He's travelling with his daughter, or may be, and he's… he's a nuke."

"He doesn't have a nuke, he is a nuke. Like Midtown."

That has Barbara's attention much more fully, her eyes narrowing. "I see," she intones more seriously, rubbin at her chin. The fact that there's another potential Bomb walking around is't comfort for her. "Well, I imagine we should pass on a thanks to your friend, if you get the chance. The name isn't familiar to me, but that's no surprise. Maybe someone on Council might no more. Ill make sure Noah hears, at the very least."

"I've got a— a picture, here," Doyle offers out the envelope, "She gave a phone number to call if we run into him, but I know the Council won't go for that. She suggested that if he gets hurt— or injured or anything, he could blow. I don't know how much she was trying to scare us, though." He trusts her, but only so far after all.

"It's not something I'd do myself, but fear can lead to greater caution," Barbara notes as she takes the envelope and opens it. She has even less reason to trust Doyle's source, but it's a valid comment to her. "I don't see a phone number going over well unless we know who it's to, but if you can arrange some alternate form of contact, if we need it… well, I'll keep you posted, in case that's needed." The picture is pulled out and looked over, and the redheaded triplet's eyes narrow. "If he's that volitile, though, it's possible measure might be taken if he's spotted, no one wants another Bomb. Here's hoping nothing has to come to that, though."

A brief grimace twists Doyle's lips at the mention of contact methods. For whatever reason, he doesn't seem to want to reveal the source's identity… or give contact information to her, either. "I just wanted to pass on the warning," he says quietly, "She risked a lot just coming to me on this."

The unwillingness to give up the source makes Barbara slightly uneasy, but she tries her best not to show it. She eyes him for a moment too, but she doesn't say anything on the matter. "Well, this is all good to know," Barbara replies with a glance down at the picture. "So thank you, and send thanks to your source. I'll make sure this gets in the hands of teh rest of the council, and we'll work something out."

"Thanks," Doyle says with a quick smile, "I just… well, I already said that. I don't want to see the island blow up, or something, you know? And if he's really that dangerous…"

Barbara offers a bit of a laugh, nodding at Doyle as she slides the picture back itno the the envelope. "Trust me, I don't either. I'm guessing you don't mind if I hold on to this for a while?" The envelope is held up, and then slipped into Barbara's bag. "I have other matters to meet with the council on before Christmas. I'll make sure this comes up."

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