Acting In The Dark


elisabeth_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Acting In The Dark
Synopsis Elisabeth and Ygraine talk of things.
Date Apr 7, 2011

Skinny Brickfront, Endgame Safehouse

Just as when Elisabeth and Jaiden arrived, the aroma of cooking food drifts out of the safehouse's makeshift kitchen. This time, however, it's already starting to smell as if it might rather well-done, though there are no sounds of movement from within the chamber.

Elisabeth's presence in this building has been low-key in the extremes. The woman paces from room to room, floor to floor, just… thinking. Planning. Working through thoughts. Hiding so that she can ride out the anxiety attacks where no one can bother her. As she wanders through this level one more time, her scuffed jeans, hiking boots, and pink and orange fleece jacket on, the blonde is shoving some of the nearly waist-length mass of hair back. She peeks into the kitchen area with not much curiosity. She hasn't eaten much the last few days.

There, she finds someone else who has been doing no small amount of hiding - aided greatly by her ability, which lets her retreat to nooks and crannies open to no one else. At present, however, Ygraine is simply sitting in the far corner of the room, arms looped around her legs, knees drawn up and forehead resting on them, the great mane of black and blue hair spilling over her. A simple mix of beans and sausages is starting to burn on her little camp stove.

"You're burning it," Elisabeth remarks as she steps in to remove the pan from the stove and turn it off. "If you burn down the only safehouse we've got right now, I think we're going to be even more fucked than we are." She leans on the counter, pulling the remnants of calm around her. She can't quite hide the subtle vibration around her, but … it is what it is. "You okay?"

It takes a few moments, then Ygraine slowly lifts her face. She's in that peculiar state of having clearly cried rather a lot, but not in the last few minutes - her features are a little slack, and she looks thoroughly miserable, but she appears to have regained some measure of control. "Oh. Hi. Ahh. Oh, fuck. Yes. I… thank you", she manages by way of greeting.

Elisabeth recognizes that face. And there is sympathy in her expression. "If you want out, Ygraine…. I'll find a way to make it happen," she says softly. There is genuine regret in her face. Her actions were taken knowing that they would create a metaphorical nuclear detonation of the situation. So many people tied to her. So many people depending on her. And she's drowning in the knowledge that she took the risk for nothing. The least she can do is get people the hell out if that's what they want.

A dazed blink, then Ygraine looks surprised, offering a weak little laugh before holding out a hand. "I had a dream last night. It's not you. I had a dream. My first one. Lucky old fucking me. I'm still… still going over and over and over it all in my head. Trying to pick up every single nuance and possibility and implication and…."

The blonde moves forward to haul Ygraine off the ground. Her exhaustion is clear in the lines of strain and worry on her features — if she keeps this up, she's going to look sixty before she even hits forty. "Don't," she tells Ygraine quietly. "Because I think we're all just seeing possible futures. Things either that may come if we continue on the path we're on now, or things MAYBE that Zeke lived. But …. I am almost certain they're only possible futures."

Thoruoghly startled now, Ygraine nonetheless cooperates in being hauled up - though she continues the move, trying to enfold Liz in an embrace. "I was married to Robyn. We… we took a girl in. As a family. She wanted us to take her in. After Robyn couldn't find any sign of her blood relatives. I… I think… I think Jen might have been dead. I think I was wearing a ring under my clothes. Hung around my neck. But I'm not sure. But the wedding band was different. And… if Jen was dead, then… then it suggests that even people who've tried to retire from it all and left the country, even they might not be safe."

Elisabeth nods slightly, hugging Ygraine tightly. "Sounds like a decent dream," she says quietly. "Not a wonderful future, but …. at least a future. Things keep getting darker and darker and darker, and frankly I was starting to wonder." She shrugs a little, and then she slips away from the embrace.

Ygraine looks momentarily rather forlorn… then sincerely apologetic. "Sorry. I… not fair. It… Robyn and Tasha had gone out looking for the girl's family. I'd guess… twenty years from now. They found no sign of them. Conclusion seemed to be that… she was orphaned. Or as good as. But… I have no idea who she was. But I've got… I want her as my daughter. That's been haunting me. I want to take care of and protect someone who… doesn't even exist yet. May never do."

There's a long silence as Elisabeth tries to figure out what to say to that. "You should talk to Norton. He might be able to help you put it in perspective," she finally says softly. "He had the opoprtunity not to dream about his son but to meet him in the year 2019. And he knew that by choosing to come back he was risking everything. Including his son's life. Because that boy? Cannot be born now. A different one might be someday for him, but … that child I would have to be literally getting pregnant with right this moment. And Norton had to face that knowledge when he made his choices." She shrugs a little. "For myself…. I'm still feeling a little too raw about a child I asked to have and dealing with the knowledge that my own actions may have also forestalled that child as well." She smiles a little. "I'm not the best person to speak to on the matter."

Ygraine hastily shakes her head, guilt now appearing. "I'm sorry. I… that was meant to be a brief outline of what I'd seen. In case it was relevant. Or tied into anything you heard. I'm just… less of a mess than I was at one in the morning, when I woke up in a derelict room, alone in the dark. I'm getting better, not worse. Just… Sorry. Is… how are you? I…"

Floundering for words, the Briton settles for making vague, worried hand motions for a moment. "I want to help."

Elisabeth laughs quietly. "I think I've hit rock bottom. Maybe." She's not entirely sure. "I don't know what to do at this point. I don't … have any way to help the rest of the people tied to me. And there are a lot of them. Some of you are already in hiding with me, some are in hiding elsewhere, and I feel….. like I've pretty much cut myself adrift from everything I know. I can't even talk to my father." She swallows. "And saying that aloud is whining quite a lot, because you and Jaiden have cut all those same ties with me. And to top that off, how many people do I know who were braver to do it before I was?" She shoves a hand through her hair. "Richard's pissed and I spend about half the night crying over the fact that … I betrayed that trust. Oh, it was for good reasons… for reasons I think are the right ones… but it kills me inside. And I'm struggling with the fact that everything I was working toward is tac-nuked." She forces a small smile. "I'm being selfish in the extremes right now, fighting with my own demons. I'm sorry to dump them on you."

Ygraine snorts, then cautiously offers a hand. "I validate my existence by trying to help people", she says quietly. "It's… why some of what happened a month and a half ago has done such a number on me. I was betrayed by someone I'd done more, directly, to help than anyone else. And I then responded… in a way I didn't think I had in me. So maybe it's wholly selfish. Trying to persuade myself that I'm not that bad after all. But I want to help you. If that means listening and sympathising - then heck, I'll do it. I've not done too bad a job in the past few weeks, have I? Things are certainly darker now, but - gimme a try. If you're right about being at rock bottom, even a lunatic like me can't make it any worse, right? So make use of me."

"Ygraine, I don't have words for the way I'm feeling," Elisabeth admits with a faint smile. "And it's whining to say that I miss my career — I'm the one who just threw it away. For again, all the right reasons." She just stops. "I can't fix anything. I sat on the fence for a very long time, and now that I've explosively removed myself from it, I just feel… adrift. I have.. ideas. Thoughts. Tentative plans. But at the bottom of it all? Like anyone else who just upended their entire life, I'm just…. frightened, Ygraine. I'm scared to death that I've done the wrong things. That there are no right things. And that what I've done will screw the world up even more. Even though it's complete ego to think anything I do can do anything to the world, right? Except it's not because clearly things I've helped do have already changed the greater picture, and so the juxtaposition between those two ideas is rattling me to the core and … right about now I almost wish I had the fucking Xanax back," she admits.

"It's not whining to be honest about why you're down", Ygraine suggests gently. "And I think it's safe to say that we're all scared. But I'm also safe in saying that I admire you. I was screwed, whatever you decided. But you didn't have to be here. You chose to be. I'm not saying you should be happy about it - far from it. But… I'm glad you had the guts to try. So very many people wouldn't. Or would have frozen until the decision was made for them. It's… it's selfish of me, but I'm glad you're here."

"Last time I froze until I was shoved across the line. That's how I wound up in Antarctica watching Richard literally swallow a nuclear warhead into the shadows with him," Elisabeth tells her softly. "This time…. well… It's arrogance on my part, but…. there is a part of me that honestly believes the only way we're coming out of this is to be entirely unpredictable. To really start making a lot of noise about Humanis First and their atrocities, to be able to name names and make people start talking. We have to have enough credibility to make them listen. Even if half the people arent' sure, the other half will start asking and wondering. And that will be how we win."

"That's… part of the idea behind Liberty, in a way", Ygraine says softly, nodding agreement. "Even if we lose utterly and never get to the Supreme Court, if we can get people to actually think…. To question the way in which they're simply told that the administration knows best and the administration needs more powers and the administration has no choice but to take away their rights - if we can just get people thinking, then it loses a portion of its power. It starts to have to worry more about how its operations are seen. Exposing its abuses starts to become more viable for would-be whistle-blowers. Fewer people'll follow orders blindly. Any shift we can get, to the focus of attention being on the politicians and the lies - that should help. And any help we can get at all, I'll welcome. And if you can expose Humanis First? That should do a huge amount to help."

"Well, that's where we're heading right now." She smiles a little. "Alia tells me Richard's ….. going to make an example of Redbird, since it's going down anyway. So… we'll work from there," Elisabeth says on a sigh. "Jaiden and I are going to work on scripts in a while. You… eat, okay?" She pats Ygraine on the shoulder. "We'll all make it, Ygraine." She doesn't know how. But we will.

Wincing a little at news of Redbird's future, Ygraine nods sympathetically. "If… if you want a hand with anything. Ask. If I'm a gibbering loon at the time, you can tuck me away in a corner with a sketchpad and pencil. But I want to help if I can. And… if you ever want to whine or vent or anything… use me, okay? It won't be a burden, I promise."

Elisabeth looks at her and sighs softly. "I'm so goddamn tired of crying and gnashing my teeth, Ygraine…. I just can't right now. But I promise you, the offer is more than appreciated. I have just hit that point where…. whining and venting is just making my stress levels worse. I don't do well when I have no goals."

"We'll have to find you some specific ones. Even if it's just whipping the rest of us into shape, or figuring out how to redecorate some of the better-hidden portions of this place", Ygraine says warmly. "I… thank you. For everything. I hope that you know how grateful we are."

The blonde ffts softly. "I don't have a clue why," Elisabeth murmurs. "I haven't done anything worth being grateful for." Not yet. But she moves to resume her pacing of the building. "I'll be back in a while. Eat," she says gently.

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