Acquisition Rights


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Scene Title Acquisition Rights
Synopsis A Ferrymeet is called at McRae's safehouse on Staten Island to discuss what is to be done about the H5N10 virus and its effect on the network. For once, the operatives in attendance arrive at an unanimous decision.
Date April 5, 2010

Staten Island: The Sweat Lodge

The Sweat Lodge is a safehouse with a number of interesting features. Among them: 60's architecture, bright pastel colors, kitchen magnets, peeling floors, rounded corners, and a small chapel where peaceful, Christianity-based Evolved superiority thinking (cultists, to be crass) is quietly preached. An unusually high number of Moab Federal Penitentiary ex-convicts live and operate out of there, and several Ferrymen operate out of the local block.

The Sweat Lodge itself was formerly more of a supply facility, and run by an operator named Felicity until ex-con David McRae took over in the spring of 2009. Felicity has since moved in full-time to look after children and assist in cooking, cleaning, etc.

April mornings are supposed to be bright and suffused with sunshine. Instead, the sky is dark and covered in slate gray clouds that block out the light, forcing the occupants of the Sweat Lodge to operate by butane lamps, candles, and other sources of luminosity to supplement what electricity flickers through the three-story building with vibrant red brick siding that appears charcoal from the outside.

Inside, a table has been erected in one of the spare rooms along with two overstuffed leather armchairs with torn upholstery and a loveseat in dark gold velvet with a lighter afghan thrown over the back in case some of the Ferry operatives in attendance today aren't dressed as appropriately for the weather as they could be.

Although the meeting was scheduled to start more than twenty minutes ago, the blizzard sweeping across New York City has reduced the flow of traffic to and from Staten Island to a mere trickle. Many of the men and women who planned to be here have since placed calls and left messages to explain their absence, resulting in more vacant chairs than anyone already here could have anticipated.

Helena is up like an earlier bird, no worse for wear as to whatever partying she may have done before. She takes up one of the armchairs, casually comfortable in jeans, a sweater, and boots. And well - if some people aren't wearing the right clothes for the weather, it's no problem - Helena's warm atmosphere extends, providing comfort to the immediate area.

Once a southern girl, always a southern girl. Which is why Melissa comes inside muttering evil things about the blizzard and getting buried in snow. There are faint bags under her eyes from a lack of sleep, though they're not quite as bad as they were. Unheard of though, she's makeup-less, which makes her look even younger than the 26-year old already looks.

Tugging her hat and scarf off, she heads inside, then perks when she sees Helena and moves over towards her, plopping down on the arm of her chair. "Hi. Just gonna sit my ass right here until I thaw out a little," she says with a faint smile before she glances around.

The kids of the Lighthouse don't trail behind Gillian like little ducks for this meeting. In fact they're no where in sight. Probably best, for the last one that nosed her way into a meeting ended up dying before the month was out. Still warmly bundled, she doesn't mutter too much against the chill and cold, but she's grateful for the Antarctica style coats she's used to wearing, if less grateful for the fact she practically had to get out of the car and shovel her way out here.

Next time, she's asking Magnes for a ride, at least closer, so she doesn't have to trudge so much. "Anyone else sick of the weather?" She looks at Helena, and then grins. "Well at least it'll be nice in this room," she adds, as she starts to undo her scarf and coat.

Strangely enough, Meredith was actually early to this meeting. While neither a morning person or anyone who normally shows up anywhere on time, she's been running herself ragged at the Brick House and an important meeting seemed as good a time as any to get herself out and involved and away from all the sick people. Of course, that means she'll be talking about the sick people, but that's the lesser of two evils in her head.

Already seated, with her coat unbuttoned but not completely off just yet, she watches the newcomers coming and going with nods to those she knows and maybe even the ones she doesn't. They're all Ferry here, after all.

The traffic to or from Staten Island did not pose an issue for Jensen Raith. Much like Gillian, his trouble came in the form of the mounds of snow creating a real mess of everything outside. Unlike Gillian, he's already at the Lodge by the time she's arrived, hanging back and all but brooding in one of the corners. Healed enough, at least, to manage going out and about despite the weather, he's present as much at Eileen's request as he is for his own interest, and despite having been present for some time already, he hasn't relinquished any of his winter clothes: Even indoors, it's too cold for that, and his hooded coat (lined even with fur, a relic from the past) and gloves have remained right where they were, although his scarf and snow goggles hang loosely from his neck rather than doing their job. Not that he needs those indoors.

Of course, Raith being present means that, no, they're not all Ferry here. But all things considered, he's less an outsider and more like an estranged cousin. A very unusual estranged cousin.

The old patriarch of the Sweat Lodge is already here, coarsely dressed and seated on a rickety-legged chair against the wall, a broader but weaker lake of warmth epicentered by Helena. McRae, raising his balding head to study all of those who come in. Above and around them, the safehouse's residents are quiet, working, eating, napping, or otherwise diligently minding their own business.

Along with him, a number of the safehouse's other operators. The swarthy thin Arab boy's among them, playing idly with a lighter in his reedy fingers— flink, flink— spitting sparks and flames up under his thumb that never exceed the size of a pea. Caucasian boy sitting not far from him, a sprawl on the floor with his back against the wall, dark, rumpled head stooped idly to study something on the diminutive display of his cellphone.

Slow on Raith's heels, Teodoro is coming in. A familiar face to some, and memorable to others mostly because his left cheek is ripped open an inch wider than his mouth should span, scarred up visibly despite the scruffy beard masking his jaw and the cotton hood pulled up over his head. While he hadn't come specifically at Eileen's request, he came with her invite for other, sweetly familial reasons.

At the table, Eileen rests hands gloved in leather at its edge. With every minute that passes, the chances of there being more latecomers continues to dwindle until it reaches a point close enough to zero where the Englishwoman is comfortable turning green eyes on Melissa. It's quiet in the room — no excess chatter — so she doesn't have to speak very loudly to be heard. "We ought to start with an update on the situation," she suggests. "I don't think everyone here is familiar with what happened at the Den, network bulletins aside."

Close enough to zero, but not quite. In ghosts that redhead, the one who gets along with Eileen so beautifully. A few beats behind Teo, he's pulling off that black watchcap he wears, shrugging out of his parka to expose a rather ravelled gray sweater and dark jeans. Rocking that almost-homeless look the way he does. He's utterly pale, eyes redrimmed - it gives him the look of a white rabbit. He doesn't seek out a seat, but props himself against a wall, arms crossed. The weariness in his expression negates some of the apparent truculence of his posture.

Helena's good mood dims just a bit at Teo's arrival; it's a bit like staring at a strange. She gives him a little nod before refocusing on Eileen, attentive and quiet. What she does or doesn't know, she doesn't offer, but waits for the information.

Melissa grimaces faintly, but she nods to Eileen, tilting her head to one side, then the other, making soft cracking sounds as she pops it. "Couple days ago we got a call from Teo, telling us that people were on their way to Roosevelt Island, and the Den specifically, to grab infected folk. Not sure how, but apparently they knew that the Den was a safehouse.

"There's a small pause before Mel continues. "Luckily, with the warning, we were able to get most everyone out and relocated. Else, Delilah and Doc Brennan stayed behind, Dee and Brennan by choice, and Else because…" She draws in a slow, deep breath. "She's in a bad way. Worse off than anyone else with 510 that I've seen. Hopefully being in a hospital will give her a better chance than we could, even with a couple of doctors checking on her. The Den just wasn't equipped for any real medical attention." And the look on her face all but dares someone to question that. She obviously hates it as much as anyone.

"This wasn't the Den, but Eve's home in Midtown was raided too, I think," Gillian speaks up, having honestly known very little about the Den except that it existed. It's not a place she'd been. But Else… Else she helped save once. Along with Eve. And Peter. And all three of them got sick, and now Eve's missing, and Else—

"In case anyone doesn't know, Eve's a precog, kind of like Else, just with dreams. She would paint her dreams, though, and— her paintings were all gone. I'd been calling and trying to get her to relocate to a safehouse, but she was stubborn and never agreed…" And now… "I don't know if it's related to the Den raid, but… She was sick too."

While Meredith may not be completely privy to what happened at the Den, she does partly know what happened in the aftermath. "Some of 'em are at Brick House now," she adds simply enough about those quarantined at The Den, filling in for the afters where Melissa drifted off. "Joseph and I aren't really at all better equipped than the Den, but we've got some space at least." Not that that's an invitation for everyone to send their sick ones to Brick House. They'll have enough on their hands with who they have there now. Since that's all she knows about the subject, she lapses into silence, eyes drifting among those gathered.

Not too far off from Meredith, Raith isn't privy to much that goes on with the Den either, his information coming second and third hand. But even if he hadn't known anything about it, he's heard enough and knew enough to reach some conclusions of his own. "I hate to sound callous," he says, although that's most usually exactly how he sounds, "But taking care of the sick might actually be the lesser concern here. Two different locations got hit. One, I might be willing to write off as bad luck. Two? That ain't no coincidence." Maybe him not being 'one of them' is what makes him so callous: He barely knows most of those present. He can afford to cut straight to business. "Was it just those two? Or were there more?"

The look on McRae's face changes fractionally, rue shading in around his eyes even as his jaw tightens with resolve. It probably wasn't all that notable, the Sweat Lodge had yet to offer to take any of the sick— it's not like safehouses were elbowing each other out of the way for the privilege, after all. It's probably more noticable here, what with the topic of conversation at hand, and the Sweat Lodge's mutant supremacists remaining…

…conspicuously silent. There's only a vague murmur of sympathy from his quarter of the room, between himself, the pyromancer and the boy just now shutting his cellphone. Chuckles looks up, and his gaze sharpens focus on Raith, out of all the speakers. Makes sense to him.

"We had warning earlier, too. General notice," Teo corroborates. "The Company warned Gordon some bullshit like this was coming down the pipes." He pops open the jacket button at his throat with a squirming hook of his thumb. He's scratching zip down the next moment, but unlike the redhead behind him, he doesn't shed the garment exactly. Yes, there are two atmokinetics in the room, but even just looking at the narrow seam of sunlit white peeking through the blinds over there makes him feel cold.

Al has his parka draped over his arm, now, and is listening quietly. "In the immortal words of Mr. Fleming, once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action. There's a leak, or a trace," he says, or more accurately, rasps. Like there's something wrong with his throat.

"How do we find the leak?" Helena remains calmly seated in the arm chair. "I mean, not to try and foster paranoia, but it could be anyone. How far are we willing to go to discover it?"

Melissa shrugs slightly. "I hadn't even heard about Eve, so far as I know it's just the two locations. And I wish I had an idea about how to figure out who the leak is. It could be someone who saw people coming in and out. It could be Rebel. I really have no idea."

"We got the warning about possible Staten raids. I didn't get bothered any at the Lighthouse, though, but we'd decided to stick it out there. I don't know what happened there, but those at least, may not have been the government exactly," Gillian says, offering her own thoughts. "I also don't know if Eve is connected to the Den, but it happened around the same time. I called her every few days, she usually called back even if I missed her." Even when she was hallucinating. Poor woman. She'd been hallucinating the last time she saw her, to pick up her dogs to help protect the Lighthouse Kids… "I started leaving messages that never got answered on the second. I was only able to physically get out there yesterday, and I luckily got back just before the new blizzard started."

Teo's mention of her last name makes Meredith sit up a little straighter. It's not a huge surprise that Meredith would agree with the core of Raith's arguments - the offensive is the best defensive. "I told Bennet about it. Company apparently kept quiet about some of the locations it knew about, but now they wouldn't be able to." Frowning, the blonde woman sticks her hands into the pockets of her jacket and roots around for something without really paying attention to what her fingers are doing. "Damned if I know what that means, but I think the problem is less about a mole or somethin' and more about the fact that with as many people as we have, there're bound to be a more'n a few leaks. Maybe not on purpose, but it's just how things go." Maybe that's why Meredith was always so solitary before.

Finally, the woman finds what she was searching for, a pack of half crushed cigarettes. The condition of the package puts a displeased look on her face, but she shakes one out anyway. "We'd be stupid to think some of the wrong people didn't know about some of our places. We need to start shiftin' things about. Hell, maybe use it to our advantage. They raid the right place with the right people there we could get some choice information about what's goin' on."

Good points, all around. Mostly all around, at least. Alexander is the only one who draws any appreciable amount of attention from Raith, but even that attention is short. For now, he keeps quiet, waiting for more information to work its way to his ears.

"Vet people telepathically," Teo guesses, aloud. He hunkers his shoulders back to lean against his wall of choice, creasing his brow at Meredith, brief and sympathetic acknowledgment. "Kaylee would probably be up for it. We should probably start with the newest recruits and hires. Anybody who didn't get a background check on them, that kind of thing. I mean, I'm going to assume the Company's pretty good at keeping their collective ass covered as far as paperwork goes, but if we left any holes open, we should probably fill those in first. I don't really know who's been at the Den, or who was staying with Eve.

"Might be—" his jaw tightens slightly, and an ingoing breath wobbles in the twisted flesh of his ruptured cheek. "Could be they got some information off a psychometer. A few of us had trouble with an Evolved government bitch with that the other month."

"These are all good suggestions," Eileen says. "I've already spoken with Harkness about putting together a counterespionage team to combat any government moles we might be contending with, but we haven't had either the time or the resources to get it off the ground yet. If anyone is interested in investigating what happened at the Den and to Mas, speak with me after the meeting and I'll add your name to the list. As soon as we're able, we'll hold another meeting to discuss strategy on that front.

"What I'm more concerned about now is the H5N10 virus and taking precautionary measures to ensure that the network continues running smoothly if the disease continues to spread." Breath leaves her nose and mouth as mist, a sigh pressed past thinned lips drained of their colour. "As of early this morning, they've made the vaccine available to the public. Those of us who are already registered, like Childs, Dean and Pastor Sumter, won't have a problem acquiring it for themselves. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury."

She's looking between Melissa, Meredith and McRae's people as she speaks, her voice soft yet anything but tentative. The firmness of her mouth is reflected in her tone. "Individuals integral to the network's operation need to be protected. So do the minors that they're caring for. No matter what we do, there's no earthly way we'll be able to obtain enough vaccine for everyone, legally or not. What we're looking at essentially is a triage situation, and although I don't like the idea of stealing a shipment from one of the designated distributors and opposed it the last time we brought it up for discussion, I'm beginning to think it's a risk we ought to consider taking provided it can be done in a way that isn't traceable. Does anyone vehemently disagree?"

"I volunteer," says the telekine, quietly, from where he's lurking at the back of the room.

Helena frowns a bit. "I agree." she says, because truthfully, they're right - she's at significantly less risk. And there are others who are in need. "I'll do what I can."

Melissa looks a little uncomfortable at Eileen's look to her, and she clears her throat softly. "Don't need to worry about getting me the vaccine," she mumbles. Though she's not volunteering the why or how on that particular point. But at least one of the operators is safe. Even if she's temporarily without a house to operate.

Moving on all too quickly… "And you know I'll help get some of the vaccine. So no disagreement on my part. I think it'd be good to give people the option of being protected without being registered. Honestly though, I think that small groups would have a better chance of not making a huge splash. Three or four people with carefully chosen abilities, if possible. The more people you send in, the bigger the potential mess."

"I don't disagree with it. We should get some, for those who don't want to register, or who get stuck where they just can't get to the innoculation centers." Which would be the one reason why Gillian's not dragging the registered kids out to stand in a line right now. The blizzard makes travel difficult… "And I actually do have a suggestion of someone who could help out on this. I think Magnes has a good ability for it, and I know he's eager to help out. And despite everything, he can keep some secrets." For a moment, she's specifically looking at Eileen and Raith.

Lighting up her cigarette, Meredith keeps quiet while Eileen attempts to steer the conversation back to the virus and why the meeting was called. When glanced at in connection to the desire to remain un-Registered, she just sort of mini-salutes with her smoking hand. As for getting a shipment of vaccines, the blonde woman is already agreed. It's something she agreed to at the last meeting before it was shot down. "I'm game," she replies nonchalantly. This is the sort of thing that she's made for. Playing nurse to sick people kind of stretches her abilities. Stealing things and playing Robin Hood? That she can do.

"Thought we shoulda done this earlier." It'll get her out of the sick house. The woman is certainly not planning on putting herself in a position where she has to seriously worry about Registering in order to save her life. Either she's going to get a vaccine the roundabout way or she's going to be wearing a biohazard suit everywhere. Her piece said, she sits back again and nurses her cigarette.

"Would've been nice, if it was done earlier," Raith says flatly, "But it wasn't. Doesn't matter anymore. What matters is how we're going to handle it now. Magnes is a thought. Give me a little time and a few phone calls, and I can probably scare up some snow machines. Or at least a dog sled." Finally, Raith stops hanging clear back, stepping a little bit more forward, a little bit more into the group.

"Give me some info and a couple bodies, and I can probably secure some vaccine too," the ex-spy adds, "No promises on that one. Not in this weather."

Teo was shot recently, and he's considering that as the names go up onto the volunteer board. He opens his mouth to add his own to it, but his teeth click shut again, ruefully. He'd simply remark that he wants to go on the reserve list, but that would be unnecessarily self-aggrandizing; instead, he lets out a troggy grunt, that probably gets his generalized agreement across, and folds his arms carefully across his chest. It's not like he won't be here to revisit his decision, anyway.

"I'll help," Jericho adds, aloud.

"Me too." Charles, the white boy on the floor, raises a hand in a lazy wave above the tousled roof of his head.

Behind them, McRae's face is all but unreadable, and by all but the reader may take to mean he is observing the same risk that put Eileen's tone into a wary hush. "I'll provide cover if I can," he says, finally, pale eyes realigning to meet Helena's across the room. "And as big a diversion as you need, if it's needed. I have not been informed if Wireless is back on active duty. How will you get the intelligence needed to see this through?"

There's silence from Eileen's end of the table as she longingly watches the smoke rise in plumes from the tip of Meredith's cigarette and considers McRae's gentle query. Then, "Dean and Knight - see if it's possible to use Phoenix's connections to monitor one of the larger distribution centers like St. Luke's. Maybe try feigning concern about the hospital's conditions or the manner in which government employees are handling the new registration stations there. We want a feel for what security looks like and whether we should be targeting a shipment in transit before it arrives at its destination or if we should attempt to smuggle some out once it's already there."

Green eyes flick to Meredith and Melissa. "Pierce and Gordon - you're in charge of scouting out smaller distribution centers for comparison's sake and determining whether or not the shipments at St. Luke's have a static schedule. If we can figure out how often the vaccine is delivered and when, it'll be easier for us to choose a window in which to act."

From behind the collar of her wool coat, Eileen's head is still. Her palms are now flat on the table's wooden surface and in their black gloves appear very small. "Once we have more information about what we're dealing with, we can talk about assembling a team to participate in the extraction itself. I agree that this needs to be kept small, especially if there's a possibility of a mole. With the exceptions of Gitelman and Bennet, none of what has been discussed here today is to be shared with operatives who aren't in this room, at least for the time being. It's too much of a risk. If there's anyone else who wants to do legwork for this project and wasn't given an assignment, I encourage them to do it, but do it carefully and quietly."

It's McRae who gets the nod, first, and then, "We can do that." Helena says. "Al can do it more quietly than I can, but it can be done."

Melissa stares at Gillian when she brings up Magnes. "Are you kidding? That boy doesn't know when to shut up. He helps out and the whole city will know about it in a week," she protests, shaking her head and sounding utterly convinced of her argument.

Looking back to Eileen, Melissa nods. "Will do. And I agree with secrecy. If it gets out now, we have a short list of who to look to." Her lips curve in a faint, wry smile. "Though I doubt with a list this small anyone who try. It'd be too damning."

"And exactly how long have you even known him?" Gillian asks, tilting her head at Melissa. "I've known him for a long time." And she fought beside him in Argentina, and he certainly hasn't bragged to anyone about how they flew a freaking crab-shaped tank out of the jungle in the wake of an explosion that tore apart a mountain. And if he could keep that secret… "Yeah, he yaps at times, even when he shouldn't, but he knows when to keep the really important shit quiet."

"Sure does." At least Gillian can rest easier knowing that, as far as getting help from Magnes is concerned, Raith is backing her up. "If Magnes lends a hand, you let us worry about how much he talks. And how much he knows." Because that is another essential part to controlling the spread of information. "What else do we have?" Raith asks, "Or is this where we go off the map and start guessing?"

McRae's boys take their relegation to muscle with—

—good grace. Possibly, they take it as flattery, given Eileen's a pretty girl and gaining notoriety for hanging out with dangerous men. None of them would have thought themselves qualified for the espionage, logistics or intelligence-gathering parts of these missions, anyway. Chuckles drops his hand and Jericho cracks a scimitar grin, flips his lighter open with a low-ringing clink of metal.

At the mention of Magnes, some sentiment turns over behind Teo's eyes like a coin-flip, but he doesn't move or make a sound until Raith sets himself up as the disciplinary committee. Though the Sicilian has many loyalties and rather— tangled, a web that touches down on every person in this room in some way or another, he apparently considers himself enough a part of the Vanguard remnant to lift his head slightly, acquiescing to that.

It's the first time that a Ferrymeet has been held where everyone in attendance is also in agreement about what needs to be done. This is probably a cause for some small celebration, but the expression on Eileen's face remains grim. "Young has connections with St. Luke's, St. John's and the Suresh Center. Beauchamp works as an emergency medical technician out of St. Luke's." Gloved fingers interlace. "It would be ideal if someone could also volunteer to pull one or both of them aside and ask if they can take a look at whatever paperwork they may have access to without telling them what we need it for. They're both working professionals and the less they know, the safer they're going to be when the Department of Evolved Affairs starts investigating the theft and conducting interviews."

Melissa sighs and shrugs. "Fine, use him. But the first time he runs his mouth, I reserve the right to tell you guys I told you so," she says. Not happy about the decision, but she knows when she's outnumbered. So instead she looks to Eileen. "I can talk to Abby," she offers.

"First time he runs his mouth, I think Jensen'll break his jaw before you ever get the chance to say 'I told you so'," Gillian says with a shrug, perhaps meaning it as a joke, whether it turns out to be an accurate joke or not. "And if he doesn't, I will." That much she knows for sure. "But I still think I know him a little bit better than you do. We won't tell him more than he needs to know, but that doesn't mean he can't help, if whatever plan that comes up even needs him." There's no offering to contact those two on her part, as she has other things on her plate these days. Mostly kid sized.

"I think we already have a plan," Raith remarks. But for a change, he's not the one giving out marching orders. For a change, his attention is focused on Eileen, and things are even so strange, so Bizarro today that he actually says to her, "Unless you've got more for us, boss."

Teo doesn't blink at the probability of jaw-breaking, which means he either thinks that probability is high, or that Gillian is underexaggerating. Alternatively, he's merely distracted by some other thought, congealing out of the sticky mess of his sun-deprived brain, mountained anxieties, other background concerns and distractions. Abby does work at St. Luke's. That reminds him—

—after a fleeting glance in Helena's direction, a carefully measured distance from Gillian's last remark, that, "Peter might either help or get in the way. He's Abigail's partner."

"The latter's more likely than the former," Eileen says, rising from her seat at the table, and unlike Teodoro makes a point not to look at either of the women when Peter's name is brought up. She adjusts the cuffs of her coat and runs fingers under the collar before dancing them across the buttons on its breast to keep her hands occupied. "If he knew what we were planning, we might have to break his jaw. He means well, but right now he's not looking at our work objectively or realistically."

And speaking of looking at things realistically: "Those of us who have plans to cross the water need to get a move on. Storm's getting worse and there won't be as many boats making the trip in this weather."

Oh, it's one of those moments where no matter what you do, people are going to read into it. Helena's focus doesn't change, though she has enough awareness to meet Teo's eyes when he mentions Peter. She neither shrugs nor looks surprised, and there's no visible upset from her. But she does rise to her feet. "That'd be me." she says. "I'll catch up with Al soon and see if we can get a line on a major supplier." She notes, "If anyone wants to cross the water with me, I can do what I can to make the trip easier." Localized weather is manageable in small doses.

"Yeah, I gotta get going too. And I'll talk to Abby about Peter too. I think we can probably keep him out of the loop though," Melissa says, rising to her feet.

As Peter's mentioned, Gillian visibly frowns and looks bothered. "And isn't he supposed to be held up with the super flu or something?" There's a glance at Eileen, cause she's immediately thinking on something that the woman had said. When the kids were in danger, he'd be there. Which he wasn't, just like she figured he wouldn't be. And she doesn't think he'd be much help here— or at least she has sincere doubts as she gets to her feet and starts to put her coat and scarf set up back together.

"Or something." That's all Raith has to say about Peter Petrelli at this juncture: It's not his favorite topic of conversation. "Storm isn't doing much good for walking, either. I'm leaving now. Think I'll check on the lighthouse before the weather gets worse, just in case. Any takers?" No surprise that Raith looks in Gillian's direction before he checks for any one else who might be interested. Does anyone else even go to the lighthouse besides himself, Gillian and Eileen? And Teo, when he's tired of playing 'forest goblin.'

The Sicilian droops his head forward a few degrees, a nod of acknowledgment for something that was said. At least one thing that was said. There's a future out there, somewhere, where he and Peter Petrelli are the best of friends, but that's nothing Teo wants to get his fingers on now. "I'm heading out too," he says, finally extricating his hands from his pockets. He fits the tabs of his jacket zip into one another and starts to seal himself back up inside the garment's sturdy layer of insulation. "I'll be at the Garden."

"I'll come with you," McRae is saying to Helena, leaning himself out of his chair. He straightens to stand, dusts ashy powder off his hip with a swat of his palm. Old though he may be, his towering frame throws an equally long gray shadow over the two boys skulking spidermonkey on the floor. He glances at Gillian with a question articulated in the curl of his silvering brow.

Helena nods to McRae, looking over Gillian's way. "We have an appointment." she mentions to the brunette with a faint smile. "Remember?" She rises, picking up her coat from behind the chair and slinging it on.

Melissa shakes her head at Gillian. "No, he doesn't have the flu." Not anymore, anyway. "He's actually back at work, as of a couple days ago," she says, pulling out her hat and such, starting to tug it on.

"Well, good for him," Gillian mutters under her breath, though it sounds a little less pleased. A little relieved, but still less pleased than she probably would have been if, you know, he'd actually called and said he wasn't dying in quarantine somewhere. "And yeah, we do. I'm going with you guys," she looks toward Raith and adds, "Make sure everything's good with the kids. They already know I won't be back til tomorrow." Cause the snow coming down will make the trip back more hazardeous.

With only two of the fingers on his right hand, Raith gives Gillian a lazy salute, and then he's wrapping his scarf around his face and pulling his goggles back on as he heads for the door, drawing the hood of his coat up just before he disappears from sight. Times are tough for everyone, but they are toughest, perhaps, for unknown soldiers.

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