Authority And Judgement


bennet_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif meredith_icon.gif sandra_icon.gif

Scene Title Authority And Judgement
Synopsis Sandra Bennet joins her husband and the Evolved underground railroad movement in New York City. On her very first evening, the Ferrymen finds themselves in an impromptu huddle of unlikely compatriots discussing the fate of murderer and bigot terrorist, Danko, their prisoner.
Date November 3, 2009

Greenwich VillageThe Hangar

A wrought-iron fence borders several small garden beds and the stone stairs leading up to the house's front door. The house itself is a structure of old stone - not even concrete blocks, but quarried stone — with natural-color wood doors and window frames. The windows on the ground floor are barred.

Inside, the level is divided into only three rooms. The first is the foyer, with polished hardwood flooring, a freestanding coatrack on either side, iron-dark against soft-amber interior walls. The main staircase spirals up from one corner of the foyer, girded by a wrought-iron railing.

To the right from the entrance is the kitchen. The walls just off from white, the floor tiled in dark gray. In the center of the kitchen is a black-topped island, matching the counters that line the room. One wall is dominated by an eminently modern stove framed by an anachronistic brick hearth. Cabinets above the counters have glass doors; the windows above the sink are framed in light-colored curtains, the illumination they let in adding to the expansive atmosphere.

The dining room takes up the back of this floor. The far wall is brick and stone, with a facade of a fireplace mantle in the center. Interior walls have been painted a tone intermediate between amber and ivory, which is also the accent color in the dark rug beneath the long dining table.

First of all, it's evening and finally freezing, driving the city's pigeons to moult and thickening clumped ice into the oil puddles in the wear-pitted streets. Second, the Ferrymen managed to catch Emile Danko, snowing the massive network with controversy and fear— about whose custody the notorious anti-Evolved terrorist was in, now, or more importantly whose responsibility his fate was, who was allowed to have an opinion, on what qualification, whether Humanis First! would come for him and the woman who had betrayed him betray them as well. After the attacks on Beach Street and the Guiding Light Church, few of the men and women who take their roles within the Underground Railway with any kind of seriousness remained completely neutral at the idea of harboring one of the terrorist operatives. Humanis First! had taught them fear, if neither quite hate nor any facsimile of respect.

Third but not least, Sandra Bennet is here, joining her family at what was more commonly known as the Big Apple before the Midtown Man took such a bite out of it that a metapho so rosy is completely inappropriate. Her husband's with her, now, ushering her in through the front door even as their son hops and staggers slightly under the halved weight of the crate he's trying to help unload out back. Noah holds a broad blue suitcase in one hand, a duffel bag in the other, nudging in through the door with a woody creak.

He holds it open for her: invites her in, not merely to a safehouse but to a world that not even Costa Verde could bear honest representation of. His world. It leaves the man with a certain sense of cognitive dissonance. A monosyllabic word of greeting floats up from a refugee lumped on the couch under blankets, retracting brown toes instinctively, not quite afraid, like a hermit crab recedes from light. "This is only for a few days," he says, with a smile, his gaze steady through the horn-rimmed panes of his glasses.

With a suitcase held in one hand and a wide-eyed Pomeranian named Mr. Muggles tucked away under the other arm, Sandra's presence is announced into the house by the clickity-clack of her slightly heeled shoes. They aren't high heels, as that would be ridiculous in this weather, but they are heeled non-the-less. "I'm sure this is acceptable, Noah." Her eyes graze over the refugee for a moment, as she gives him a kind smile, and a small 'Hello'. Making her way further into the house, she looks about. "Where will we be sleeping?" She says promptly.

The ripples of the capture of Emile Danko is impossible for anyone remotely involved with the Ferrymen to ignore. Speculation, rumors and outright lies have all been bantered about within Meredith's earshot. As a keeper of her own safe house, it's safe to assume what side the fiery blonde finds herself on, however, she's also not one to hold much stock in idle chit-chat. If there's something that's going to be done about someone like Danko, she wants to hear it firsthand from The Man Himself - in this case Noah Bennet. While the Ferrymen's strength is the fact that it has no main base of operation, it's no real secret to the members that if there's important news to be had (or if there's someone needing to be found) the Hangar is the place to come to. This is exactly why Meredith finds herself walking up the treacherous sidewalk toward the old townhouse.

Despite being a firestarter, the blonde has never quite gotten accostomed to winters in New York. Used to the scorching deserts of Texas and Mexico, the cold cuts right through her thick winter coat and the scarf she's wrapped tightly around her neck. Hands are gloved and shoved into her pockets, but despite her shivering, she's already deep in a hushed conversation with her companion as they walk cross the iron grating into the garden. "Whatever the case, we can't just keep him trussed him up like some pig for the spit. Either we cook 'im or we toss 'im back into the pen."

In contrast, the mountain green of Tennessee is a far cry from scorching desert, but Joseph is dreading the winter too, if only thanks to his current living arrangements, which aren't dissimilar to Danko's living arrangements. Ungloved hands are tucked into the crooks of his elbows, arms folded around his midsection against the ice in the air. His coat and shoes are brown, his jeans faded from age and a warm plaid shirt is only seen in its loose tails and the collar peeking from the wool of his jacket. "I know," he replies, quietly, to Meredith, dark eyes searching the evening sky for a moment as they head for the building. "But it ain't like they're gonna find him, where he's put. We got time to be smart."

And now he notices the unloading of luggage and the opened door, although for a Ferry place, these things aren't unusual. Someone else who needs to be somewhere safe. There's no recognition for people, either, Joseph's eyebrows knitting together. "You're gonna have to introduce me," he adds to the firestarter.

We? Be sleeping—

Well of course, though there's a place he's supposed to be tonight. Never pit husband against wife. It's bound to go wrong, somehow, and Noah finds himself briefly paused, awkward in the half-light from the kitchen's dimmed fluorescents. "The bedroom area is up those stairs," he says, gesturing with his head and a lift of the suitcase in one broad hand, indicating the most geometrically correct trajectory to the black-railed staircase upward. "The bathroom is fully-equipped, there should be a spare towel for you and an empty shelf for you to keep your toiletries on.

"We can look into touring safehouses for you to operate as soon as tomorrow, if you're feeling up to it, though if you'd rather see the city first, get to know the geography, there are a lot of associates who know New York better than I do." Possibly, he's lying, but it's a benignly told one if it is. He gives Muggles a friendly scuff in the side of his orange head with an extruded index figure. Pauses halfway into the stoop that was going to press a kiss to Meredith's cheek, glancing back over the blonde top of his wife's head at the open doorway, the voices in it.

Looking toward the stairs indicated, Sandra nods. "All right." She says quite simply. "Good, that means I won't have to go searching through the boxes for the towel." Looking back toward Noah, she shakes her head. "I don't think I'll need a tour. We did live here once upon a time, in case you haven't forgotten." She says with a 'you should know that' look on her face. "I suppose there will be some changes to get used to, but I can manage, I'm sure." She places the suitcase that she was carrying down. "I wouldn't mind looking at some of the safe houses. Perhaps if you could tell me about some of them, like which needs the most help, that would be of use to me." She says as she scratches Mr. Muggles' ears lightly. Taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly, Sandra looks about the room that they're currently in before letting her eyes stop on Noah once more. "I hope I'm making the right choice, moving up here, Noah. I really do. Especially with the rumours I've heard flying around." Sandra turns her head at the sound of other voices, almost as if ignoring the beginnings of a kiss.

"You think keepin' him long is bein' smart?" Meredith raises an eyebrow at Joseph's turn of phrase. They're safely in the garden now, but that doesn't mean that the blonde is raising the tone of her voice. Noticing the bustle of activity in the doorway about the same time as the Tennessean, she merely adds, "I can't believe you bein' so calm about this whole thing after what he's done to you'n yours." It's a mixture of true confusion as well as just a statement to try and gauge his real sentiments on the whole situation. "Though I guess you shouldn't be one for an 'eye for an eye', the Book's got some mighty strong feelings about revenge, too. Not all of 'em are disapproving, either."

Hopefully catching Noah's eye when he looks over his wife's head at their approaching figures, Meredith merely raises a singular eyebrow in greeting. "I'm gonna need one of those myself in just a second," the firestarter tells Joseph before nodding professionally at their spectacled leader. "But that one there's who we've come to talk to. I thought you knew him." There's a genuine look of surprise on her face at that revelation.

Calm is a good word for what Joseph is being, though he doesn't quite respond to that observation, as if uncertain how to, steering a look down to the ground instead. Just a tilt of his head, a shrug. "I just don't want to do to him what he did to me, or threatened to. I'm already toein' that line enough as it is," he adds, in a quieter mutter now that they're approaching, and being noticed. As for Noah— "Only by name," the pastor admits, and he smiles ruefully and crookedly. "Never needed to cross paths before, I guess. Never gone and done anythin' like kidnap a terrorist."

:( That would be funnier if it wasn't true. Meredith gets a semi-helpless look before Joseph is ducking inside properly. His knuckles graze on the doorframe as he goes in a polite farce of asking permission for entry. "Noah Bennet?" He shuffles aside so that Meredith can enter in, a glance to Sandra, then back to the bespectacled Ferry leader. "My name's Joseph Sumter - was thinkin' I could catch a moment of your time."

Generally, Noah can make a good guess about what's going through any given person's head. Recessed somewhere in his spectacled head, he has the vague notion that it bears explaining how different the New York City she is joining him at now is to the one where they lived after getting married, but he thinks better than to mention that aloud. That's score one point on prudence for the man of the house, with a smile, of understanding and of acknowledgment, before the sincerity drops right out from under it at the Pastor's appearance.

Which leaves a smile, but an emptied one, carefully choreographed to reach the crows' feet cornering his eyes. He had recognized the bright register and accent of Meredith's voice; should have guessed at Joseph's, honestly, but what's relevant is that he guesses instantly at their business here. Enough keywords overheard. "Sandra, this is Pastor Joseph Sumter, and Meredith Gordon," he says. His own accent places only vaguely around New York, neutral the way education and a long history of dissembling could have made it. "Two of our finest operators. Meredith, Joseph, this is my wife. And Mr. Muggles.

"Sandra, if you could take Mr. Muggles upstairs, we have some business to discuss." And that, right there, would be be a drop of about, maybe, sixty points?

Sandra offers a nod of greeting to both Joseph and Meredith. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Pastor Sumter, and Miss Gordon." She greets vocally. Once Sandra is introduced as Noah's wife, the little Pomeranian that is Mr. Muggles lets out a bark, to make sure his presence is dully noted and that he's introduced by Noah. After all, it would be an atrocity to leave out the Bennet family's favourite pet. Mr. Muggles emits a growl and another bark as he's introduced, almost as if greeting Joseph and Meredith in his own way. Sandra turns to face Noah as he speaks to her, and gives him an outright annoyed look, while Mr. Muggles growls, as if sensing his owner's feelings. "I thought we were past this Noah. I am helpin' on way or another, and I will not be left out of this discussion. If it's important, and other operators are here to talk to you, I would hope that you would involve me in the discussion as well. I didn't spend all that time operating a safe house in Costa Verde to be sent upstairs as soon as there's a discussion to be had!" And that's final! At least it is to her.

Maybe a little too brightly, Meredith gives Joseph a smile and replies to his quip about kidnapping terrorists, simply, "Until now?" Following the dark haired pastor into the building with much less shuffling and ducking, she allows Noah to shut the door after them. What they have to discuss is best done behind closed doors. Even if she and Joseph had already had a vague conversation outside, there were no names and what the two of them need is more than the abstracts. The introduction gives Meredith a surprise - though it shouldn't have considering the way Noah treated her arrival - and she studies the other blonde with much more scrutiny. "Pleasure. Please, call me Meredith." Her own Texan lilt is quite noticeable, but she doesn't bring up the small talk of how the two have similar accents. Instead, she remains quiet as Sandra argues with Noah about her place at the table, as it were.

With an awkward look shot in Joseph's direction, Meredith waits a moment or two before clearing her throat. "I'm sure the both of you've got a point. But, Manhattan's not exactly the same sorta situation as Costa Verde, Mrs. Bennet." Plus, she wants to get right down to business, not have to wait to bring someone up to speed on what's happening. That can be done after they've gotten all the facts they need.

What a tiny dog. Joseph's dog could probably eat it, accidentally. Regardless, the Pomeranian is smiled to, though Joseph doesn't go and pet - not at that growl. And then—

That awkward glance is exchanged, Joseph about as quiet as Meredith is as the married couple have their minor clashing of wills. A sympathetic look is shot towards Bennet, mild though it may be, with a smile and the lines at his own eyes deepening - his own wedding band around his finger alluding to his been there stance - before he studies, instead, the ceiling and tries to remember exactly what he'd practiced saying through his head over and over.

He scratches his jaw, glances at Meredith, and neatly steps over the line drawn in the sand. Metaphorically, of course, Joseph staying where he is and no sand in which to draw. Nevertheless—

"It bears listenin' to. If Mrs. Bennet would like to stick around— heck, I'm sure it'll get to her ears eventually," he adds, looking to Sandra so he's not talking over her. "What word there is spreads like wildfire," is added with no small amount of exasperation, though it's kept reasonably in check. "Everyone's got an opinion, seems as though."

Over in the back, the man who'd bundled himself up like a babe in his sheet of fleece is rolling onto his feet and making fast-tracks to the retreat that Sandra chose not to take. Bare feet pat-pat-pat away, ring up the stairs in fearful distaste. Noah Bennet doesn't even glance up to follow Raven's charge, his attention trapped in the cramped triangle of space between the three Ferrymen operatives.

Corded tension locks his jaws in silence for a second or three. "Of course," he finally answers, smiling at his wife, though forming the syllables bears certain resemblence to the agonies of orthodontistry. No, no. That makes sense. Joseph is right, logically speaking. Sandra is right too, morally speaking. Meredith seems to have hoarded all his prudence points. Noah straightens slightly, manages to make the gesture look less like defensiveness than a confident tack of humility.

He can admit when he's wrong. No, really. "Recently, several Ferrymen—" a nod acknowledging Joseph, "managed to capture Humanis First!'s lead military operative using intel from a traitor inside the organization. It isn't really what the Ferry normally does, so there's some question on who has the authority to make decisions about him. He's killed several of the refugees and the organizers over the past few months," so, as Sandra can imagine, Noah is tactfully omitting his subscription to the 'shoot it in the head' school of thought.

"As I understand it, even the three who were directly responsible for the capture— probably don't all agree on the best course of action to take."

Sandra listens. "Meredith…" She repeats the other woman's name, though not explicitly saying that she can call Sandra by her own first name. Not just yet, anyway. She's got other things on her mind. She raises an eyebrow at the second blonde. "Yes, I have realized that Manhattan and Costa Verde are on somwhat different paths, thank you for the observation though." Please excuse her snappiness. It's nothing personal. Not toward Meredith anyway. More so, it's meant for Noah, but has remained for the moment. There's a smile and a nod to Joseph, however. At least the pastor has some sense, right of the bat. In her opinion, anyway. Muggles gives Noah a few snappy barks, almost as if urging him to get on and agree with Sandra already. Sandra, while she waits and listens to Noah speak, pets the dog's head. Sandra's eyes widen, though she attempts to keep her cool. "Well, now that we're all up to speed, shall we find ourselves some seats and start talking about what should be done? Or are we just gonna stand here like a bunch of babbling bulldogs all night?"

While Noah may not have given Raven's departure any sort of acknowledgment, Meredith watches his retreat with evaluating blue eyes. Once he's gone, she returns to the conversation at hand to find that she's been snapped at by Sandra and the basics of what she and Joseph are here for has been revealed. Ignoring the loss of temper from Mrs. Bennet, Meredith decides to move on to the topic at hand. The mention of wildfire gets a halfturn of a smile from the woman with firepower, but all she does to add to his assessment of the situation is, "And we all know wildfire's not real discerning about where it burns, if you catch my meaning, Bennet."

Though she doesn't ignore Sandra's presence, the sweep of her eyes of those involved in the conversation includes her, she is implicitly talking to Noah now. "I'm not one of those three, but I've got a place to run, too. I'm worried about retribution and I'm worried about what we've got in our basement. We need to get rid of him. One way or another." And she doesn't really seem to sound like she cares which way the wind is blowing.

Joseph stays silent and solemn and back to studying his surroundings when Noah gives his rundown. Not to be painted as some kind of— terrorist kidnapper or anything, discomfort is about as obvious as it can be if one's never met him until now, the Bennets being in that category. His hands find the pockets of his jacket to settle in. "Gettin' rid of him entails decidin' what to do with him. I know what would happen if I got my way, but—

"As long as I'm using Ferry resources, I can't just claim this as mine." Joseph takes a breath and lets it out in deliberation, before angling his shoulder towards where a door gaps in the wall, indicating a slice of a place to to sit and gather and talk. "Good to be outta the way of the door," is his agreement with Mrs. Bennet's urging.

Noah motions, steps away. The other three are led to the vacated couch, the assembly of (perhaps surprisingly, matching) chairs around the simple coffee table that constitute the sitting space. Sometimes also the dining space, depending on how close to max cap necessity has pushed the Hangar to.

He allows Sandra to seat herself first, before taking his own position; either beside her, if she selects the couch, or on the most casually adjacent chair. The tension between wife and husband is visible, jacked and contorted subtly into the outlines of their posture, and further highlit by the shrill of Mr. Muggles' voice, but Noah isn't inclined to allow more spillover than strictly necessary. The process of couple seating is conducted without ceremony, Meredith's acknowledgment of his authority accepted with as little fluster as Joseph's sympathy was carefully ignored.

His brows go up above his glasses' stark borders. "Emile Danko is a drain on our resources that we can't afford. He's also a murderer and a bigot who has committed more counts of treason than we could ever bring to the court of law. What would you recommend?" he asks— out of all of them, even Meredith, despite her pragmatic indifference to the finer details at question here.

It would seem that Sandra takes a quick moment to decide where she would prefer to sit, given the options. She decides, in the end, for a seat at the table. Another possible sign of tension between husband and wife? Perhaps. From a pocket, Sandra pulls out a doggy treat and feeds it Mr. Muggles, who chews on it happily. She sits up straight, eyes only lingering on each person shortly as she attempts to collect her thoughts on the current situation. "It would seem to me…" She says, while the others take their seats, "that this Danko character, is…well, he's not afraid to do what he deems necessary?" She sighs. "Isn't there some way to…well, get rid of him without harming him?" It may sound naive, but despite having discovered that violent means are often used, by all parties, she'd rather avert it if possible. "Maybe we could just…is it possible to reprogram him or something?" She looks to Noah at once, almost as if he has the most answers of all of them. Almost. "I mean, maybe there's someone with an ability or somethin'." She shrugs. "I don't know. But we don't have to physically harm him, do we?"

Following the others to their respective seats, Meredith takes a chair without much ceremony. At a time like this, she'd like to light up a cigarette, but she restrains herself. Instead she just unwinds the scarf that has been wrapped around her neck carefully to not let in any of the cutting wind that blows through the streets. "'Course he's not yours," Meredith tells Joseph with a bit of wave of her hand as if it were a stray thought. "But you put in just as much as you use, Joseph. So don't talk like all you're doin' is moochin' out of the pantry."

While Meredith may outwardly look like she has an offhand opinion of the matter, she feels the outcome of what happens here very strongly. It could have quite easily been the Gordon Safehouse that went up in flames instead of Joseph's Church. And that's not an outcome that the blonde is going to sit by and let happen. As for Sandra's naive approach to how to deal with a murderer and a traitor, she just gives the woman a smile. It's almost pitying, though she's not trying to be insulting. "That'd defeat the purpose, honey. Where Emile Danko came from there's dozens more who'd just pick up his torch." And that's not her just making a pun. "We need to let 'em know that we're not about to let that happen." Her chin lowers, as if she were looking over imaginary glasses at Noah. "I'm not sayin' we have to kill 'im, but he did kill friends of ours and that's not somethin' I'm inclined to let slide."

Joseph unzippers his jacket though doesn't go to take it off once he's settled. It's warmer in here, but with the door hanging open, it's not that much warmer. He listens with some visible restraint, settled into the corner of the couch. Noah only got a fleeting glance in comparison to his careful watching and listening of the two women, brow tense in some consternation before he clears his throat a little.

"I do recall exactly what kind of man we're dealing with," and the words are clipped and tense, another glance to Noah before he's switching his attention to Meredith. "I ain't in favour of makin' an example outta him. 's exactly what he did to us." And by us, he means something more limited than the Ferry as a whole. "Not sure I want to— reprogram the man either. Don't want to give him the benefit of ignorance."

Taking a breath, Joseph gestures a little as he adds his opinion into the mix; "He's a criminal. I'd hand him to the law. We got some friends over that side of the fence. One, anyhow, that I know of."

"The conventional justice system is not equipped to deal with Emile Danko's situation," Noah says, slowly. If his attitude toward his wife's relative naivete or shortage of cynicism is anything like Meredith's, he does a reasonably tactful job concealing it in hard-bitten pragmatism. His eyes shade through the glass of his lenses at Joseph, briefly.

A minute turn of his head sends a coruscation of blueish fluoescent light across the pane as he looks at Meredith, second, his wife finally from across the table. Her suggestion brings him pause; reminds him, with a painful twist in his gut, of all those times he asked the Haitian t— "Emile Danko was a war criminal once, and was set free to do what he did to the Ferry and the other Evolved after that. With Vice President Mitchell's family connections, we have reason to believe that there Humanis First! sympathizers within the government that outrank our friends, and we also know that we have an opportunity to make an example out of him to the other anti-Evolved terrorists who remain in the city.

"Never mind the complications of getting anyone within the Ferry to give testimony. It's likely he wouldn't receive due process even if we served him up on a silver platter. There's no way to be sure that 'reprogramming' would stick, either."

There's only one thing that would. By now, if it wasn't already, it's fairly obvious where Noah weighs on the matter, but he's systematic in his assessment. One item hewed down after the next.

Sandra takes her time to listen to all sides. This skill, if she hadn't learned it before hand, she has definitely learned while operating a safe house. If you don't listen to all sides, and come up with an option that all sides can, even begrudgingly, accept, then you're in trouble. "So…" She starts off slowly. "Just so I'm reading the signals correctly…what we're saying is…" She shakes her head. "I don't like it. Yes, perhaps he's done bad things. But if we do that to him, doesn't that make us as bad as him and people like him?" It's obvious she doesn't like the unsaid idea. She doesn't like violence at all, though she's come to know that it can be a necessary evil, whether she wants it to be or not. Mr. Muggles looks up at her and makes a sort of 'Hmmm?' sound to her, looking a mixture of confused and concerned.

It seems that this room is filled with the saints and the sinners at the moment with not much of that grey area Bennet seems to love visible. Meredith listens to Joseph and Sandra's arguments for mercy - for one reason or another - without speaking first, but what she hears finally makes her reach for that cigarette that she thought she could hold off on. The occasion seems to call for it anyway. Pulling a pack out of her pocket, she taps it against the table without pulling one out just yet. The soothing affect of just being able to smell the sweet aroma of nicotine curbs her craving for the moment. "I'd say if anyone knew what kinda man we're dealin' with, it'd be you, Joseph. But what's a law that says the can lock up folks like me just 'cause of the way we were born without a second thought gonna do with a man like him? Applaud him? Give him a medal, maybe. Hell, he'd have his name in the papers, that's for sure. The last thing we need."

While Sandra's point may have had some sort of weight to Meredith before all this happened, becoming 'as bad as' Danko doesn't really phase Meredith so much as long as she and those she cares about are alive. "There ain't no perhaps. He's killed, he'll kill again and he certainly doesn't give a damn about anyone in this room. If we've gotta be bad to make sure we get through this in one piece, I'm not about to lose any sleep thinkin' a man like him's off the streets. What I care more about is if we hand over Danko on a silver platter, what's to stop him from doin' the same thing to us? Where ever he is, who ever took 'im down," she gives a pointed look to Joseph now, "he'd know 'em and could give the government that know-how." The thought is enough to make the blonde shake out that cigarette she wants and place it between her lips.

Joseph is a good listener. For once, it takes some effort, and he's motivated to get to his feet around when Meredith is taking her turn to speak, though not to leave. A restless step away from the couch, he paces within the small space allotted to him, gaze seeking the floor when the firestarter sends that look his way.

"There are cops lookin' for him," he states, once he's stolen a breath in, let it out in preparation. "There's a warrant out for this man, and there are those willin' to stand up a testify. I would be. Felix Ivanov, who was hung out to dry alongside me and lived t'tell about it. The father of the girl he tried to kidnap. The friends and family of the woman who died in the end, and who knows how many others? Mrs Bennet's right - we'd be just as bad, in murder or makin' an example otherwise."

He talks better when he's on his feet, or at least, feels as though he does. Something about preaching, maybe. Or just a height advantage. "He don't know a lot about the Ferry, not really. He don't even know where he is right now."

"I don't think that any of us are in a position to decide what's to be done with Emile Danko," says a voice from the doorway.

Devil's advocate is a role played by those who want to instigate conflict as well as those who want to placate, soothe and mollify aggravated tempers. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to discern one from the other, especially when the individual speaking is a relative stranger with eyes like glass and austere features that lend themselves to furtive facial expressions. Eileen Ruskin stands in the door's wooden frame, her pale skin luminescent against dark hair stringy and wet from the rain, slim torso bundled in a charcoal pea coat and an unlit cigarette tucked behind one sylphish ear.

She gives Bennet a vaguely apologetic look from beneath knit brows, pallid lips pressed into a thin, impartial line that betrays very little about what's going on behind those eyes as she enters the room on small feet clad in soft leather flats. Either she's been eavesdropping on the conversation since it began, or she's grown much bolder since the Ferry's lead organizer saw her last. Still, her tone remains subdued and dutiful, demure in a way that means no disrespect. "After everything that Humanis First has taken from our people, don't you think they deserve the opportunity to confront him about what he's done?"

A beat's silence. Noah doesn't stand, but he does sit back in his chair and make an invitation for Eileen to come closer or seat herself on some of the available furniture. He introduces her, too. "Eileen, you know Meredith and Joseph, I believe. This is Sandra, my wife. Sandra, Eileen, another Ferrymen operator who helped capture Danko." He doesn't add in a few tidy lines for Mr. Muggles, this time. Unfortunately, this introduction is somewhat less— or more— than merely friendly.

There's no manifest irritation that his authority was undercut. He'd been the first one to use the term before: decentralized is what the Ferry is, and though Emile Danko is business they can not afford to ignore, he is not their usual industry. There is no precedent here, and the respect Eileen allocates his experience, dedication, and lengthy relationships with those deceased or afraid is all he could possibly require from any of them.

There's probably a certain sense that if he decided to press executive power, this chat around the coffee table couldn't possibly produce a change anyway. "I think the principle sounds as fair as anything I've heard proposed. What are you thinking?"

A beat's silence. Noah doesn't stand, but he does sit back in his chair and make an invitation for Eileen to come closer or seat herself on some of the available furniture. He introduces her, too. "Eileen, you know Meredith and Joseph, I believe. This is Sandra, my wife. Sandra, Eileen, another Ferrymen operator who helped capture Danko." He doesn't add in a few tidy lines for Mr. Muggles, this time. Unfortunately, this introduction is somewhat less— or more— than merely friendly.

There's no manifest irritation that his authority was undercut. He'd been the first one to use the term before: decentralized is what the Ferry is, and though Emile Danko is business they can not afford to ignore, he is not their usual industry. There is no precedent here, and the respect Eileen allocates his experience, dedication, and lengthy relationships with those deceased or afraid is all he could possibly require from any of them.

There's probably a certain sense that if he decided to press executive power, this chat around the coffee table couldn't possibly produce a change anyway. "I think the principle sounds as fair as anything I've heard proposed. What are you thinking?"

If Sandra were more in the mood, as well, she would introduce the Pomeranian on her lap. As is, however, even as Mr. Muggles barks a couple times for attention, Sandra merely nods to Eileen. "It's a pleasure to meet you, I am sure." She says to the woman, while gently scratching Mr. Muggles' ears. "Whatever 'we' decide about this Danko, I hope we won't regret it." The way she says 'we', Noah may recognize the tone as saying that he'd better make a choice that will he'll not regret, as opposed to the rest of them. Her eyes flick quickly between everyone present. "I just hope we make the right choice, whatever it may be."

"Yeah, and he still has to get convicted by 12 people who think what he did was wrong." Meredith's voice is muffled slightly by the cigarette between her lips. She's not looking at anyone as she says this - least of all Joseph, who the comment is for - as she's focused on the tip of her cancer stick. The warm glow of fire lights up her face in an orangey-red tint as she lights up from the flicker she called to the tip of her finger. She's never bothered to carry matches or lighters with her - what's the point? The matchstick's worth of flame is gone in seconds and replacing it is a wreath of smoke, which the blonde woman takes a puff of before tilting her head backwards and blowing it out toward the ceiling. She's careful not to exhale in anyone's face. "You get one person who thinks we're monsters and deserve what we got comin' to us and we're screwed. It's a hung jury and we better start Ferrying ourselves outta here."

The entrance of Eileen causes the firestarter to rotate in her chair so that she can face the other woman, at least to see who it is that's gatecrashing on their conversation. At the introduction, she merely nods before righting herself. There's only so long she can keep herself in that position. "I'd say we're all in a position to decide what to do with 'im." Taking another drag of her cigarette, she breathes out the smoke as she adds, "Hell's bells, I'd jump at the chance to be on his jury." While Noah may not be any official sort of leader of the Ferrymen, he's the one that recruited her and therefore, that's who she looks to, instead of Eileen, when he asks what the brunette proposes.

Joseph turns enough to look towards Eileen, and considering she's one third of the team he was in that tagged the man and dragged him into the Ferry's grip, he could likely look more pleased to see her than he does. Neutral at best, a little surprised to see her here already. Maybe she she had exactly the same idea he did, which raises hackles some.

But he doesn't object. In fact, he says nothing at all. Meredith gets a glance at her assessment, agreement manifesting only in the look she gets, but he keeps his mouth closed and listens, arms coming to cross over his chest casually.

Speaking of juries: "Phoenix is fond of complaining that those incarcerated in Moab received no fair trial," Eileen tells Noah, accepting his invitation to come closer though her does not sit. The Briton's attention moves freely between his wife, their dog, Joseph and Meredith without lingering on any one face for more than a cursory moment or two, her smile of greeting too tight to be considered truly gracious in nature. "Our voices were not heard by the American government, so let us hear his. Allow Danko to speak on his own behalf and put the punishment to vote. If the majority wants to see him turned over to the authorities, then we deliver him to Harrison and Ivanov. But if they'd rather we fit his head with a bag and put him up against the wall, well—

"I doubt there'll be a shortage of volunteer executioners."

Noah's features are contemplative, square jaw, eyes ceding no visible flicker behind the polished glass and reflective glare of his glasses, though Sandra's privvy to the brief sensation of being regarded, considered, before he cycles his attention through the rest assembled. It speaks well for all of them, that though there is disagreement rife between the Ferrymen here, most of them have managed full transparency without anybody's temper sparking toxically, identified a common core belief. Emile Danko is in the wrong, and justice should be served to him, somehow.

Noah, though. He's a little more used to lying, to concealment, and though it passes for a leader's judicious patience that he hasn't stated his feelings on the subject outright, it isn't really a leader's judicious patience that has compelled him to hold his tongue and frame his intense dislike of Emile Danko in rhetoric. A long moment, ticked and tocked in the hands of the kitchen clock, and finally he hikes his brows, nods in acknowledgment.

"We'll have to make some logistical decisions. Who's eligible to vote, where to hold the trial, who— if anyone— represents the Ferry's case to the voters and reviews our facts. Whether that's on the same day. Things to consider. We need to do this soon: the longer Danko is in our custody, the higher the risk."

Mr. Muggles lets out a few loud barks in a tone that Noah and Sandra would know as 'Stop talking now. Pay attention to me! It's all about me!' also known as the 'Let's go for a walk!' bark. Sandra sighs. "Look, I am with the majority on this one. Whether I like the outcome or not, I have voiced my opinion. As long I've been heard." She pats Mr. Muggles gently on the head. "This is boring to you, isn't it Mr. Muggles?" She asks him, speaking to him as if he were a baby. "We'll get you out for a walk real soon. I bet you'd like that." She turns to the everyone else. "So. I've said my bit." She nods, and that's that.

With the only person speaking in the room being Eileen, Meredith switches her attention away from Noah. Tracking the other woman with her eyes as she approaches the table, she listens with interest as to what this idea of hers may be. While she's almost positive she already knows what side her vote comes on - with or without hearing Danko speak - at least it's some action to take. They're not going to yak until their hair goes grey about what to do. "Well, hallelujah, it sounds like a plan to me." Obviously, she thinks she deserves a vote in the fate of Emile Danko and she sure isn't about to miss the excitement. As a punctuation, she finishes her cigarette and puts it out by pinching it between her fingers. "Let's get right down to it, then."

Like a sequence of slamming doors, Danko's fate is sealed. Or delayed. Joseph's gaze goes from face to face when opinions towards Eileen's idea are voiced. His shoulders had risen with a drawn breath as if he might have been about to argue, and soundly, but not for the first time tonight, he holds his tongue until the small majority within the room reaches its consensus. There's a little colour in his face, brighter thanks to going pale from being underground as much as he is, but anger or flusteredness are curbed into silence. Perhaps it's just warm in here.

Rubbing the back of his neck, he shrugs at first, looking towards Noah and then towards Eileen where his gaze settles hard, before drifting again. "'bout as fair as we'll get," he states, with a singular nod of agreement. It is, at least, time.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License