Be Smart Help Out Keep Quiet


elaine_icon.gif lynette_icon.gif

Scene Title Be Smart, Help Out, Keep Quiet
Synopsis Elaine and Lynette talk about her ability and how she can help. Lynette gives her some tips.
Date December 10, 2010

Pollepel Island: 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 Aresenal' 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a feature in almost every room, including the castle's dining hall and the basement kitchen where food is prepared on outdated stoves and ovens taken from restaurants on Staten Island that were abandoned in the wake of the bomb and later repaired and refinished for installation in the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.

Evening comes early these days, and cold here on the island. Which is why Lynette is dressed in layers, gloves even! Although, there's a cigarette held between two of those gloved fingers, a little stream of smoke rising from the lit end.

And why in the world is she standing out in the middle of a freezing castle instead of hunkering down in a less cold, smaller room? Duty calls, and she waits to cross paths with the young Elaine who was so highly recommended to them.

Elaine's kept herself busy while on the island. She's been helping out in the kitchen and doing some cleaning, and when she wasn't? She was mostly quiet, sitting and listening to her iPod until the battery died, or curled up with some book of Russian literature in its native text. Said book is in hand as she heads down a hallway in Lynette's direction, nose a little red from the cold.

Turning a bit, Lynette catches the girl coming her way, and she blows a plume of smoke off to the side before lifting a hand to get her attention. "Elaine, isn't it?" The cigarette is passed to her left hand so she can hold her right out toward the girl, "Lynette. I do believe you stayed in my building for a time, but I don't believe we've had the pleasure. Or haven't in some time. Your friend Quinn speaks very well of you, darling."

There's a small nod. "I liked it there. Magnes sort've… got us kicked out, I'd rather have stayed." Elaine offers a smile. "Yeah, I dunno that we've ran across each other very often." She does, however, grin at the mention of Quinn. "Yeah? She would. We're roommates now."

"Yes well. Moot point now." Considering the fate of her safehouse. Lynette smiles after a moment, though, "She mentioned that, too. But the important thing is that we've been led to understand you're interested in joining the cause." Her tone is a little wry, but she does appear to be taking such a request seriously all the same. "She also said you'd been hurt last month. I assume you're feeling better?"

Elaine smiles. "Yeah, it was just my leg, nothing major… I wish I could say it was me doing something heroic, but it was just me walking home from… meeting with someone. Checking out what my blackout vision was." She glances towards Lynette, tilting her head at the wry tone, but she gives a bit of a nod. "I'm learning enough stuff that I might actually be useful to something like the cause." She grins, just slightly.

"Good. Glad you recovered well." Lynette tips her head to the side some, pausing a moment as if considering her as she takes a puff from her cigarette. "What is it you've been learning? From the people here?" She looks curious there, one eyebrow lifted just a touch.

"Oh, no, I meant with my ability." Elaine nods down at the book in her hands, all in Russian. "I learn languages. Any language, rapidly… usually within twenty-four hours, now that I've been practicing. It's… well, I think it's tied into just being able to understand something that's trying to be expressed in some way. At least, that's what I can understand. It works on codes. I can learn a code and read or write it right back. Been practicing with that. I thought it might be kind of useful."

"Hmm. That is impressive…" Lynette considers for a moment longer, as if this may not be a sure thing, her fingers drumming against her hip…

"Alright, welcome to the Ferrymen, then, Elaine. It sounds like you need to be in communications. But there's a lot to be done around here… how are you in the kitchen? I'll send word through that you're in and prod people to come to you for your special talents. In the meantime… any way you can make yourself useful with day to day tasks, we're all pitching in as much as we can." Even the council, is her implication there. "How are you as far as the government's concerned? Wanted or anything like that?"

Elaine's smile brightens at the idea, giving a bit of a nod. "I've been helping out in the kitchens when I'm here… I'm good at baking, I work at Abby's dessert place when I'm not doing translation work, so… I wouldn't mind baking a bunch of loaves of bread or some sweets or something to drag back here. I was doing some cleaning around as well, the place seems like it needs a bit of that."

The government question has a little laugh from Elaine. "They couldn't care less about me. I was registered right when the registry came about, though they don't know about the code thing, and I've been attending Columbia and taking language classes… really, I've kept my nose pretty clean, so to speak."

"Oh, fantastic," Lynette says, and she does seem pleased by that last bit of news. "Good. See if you can keep it that way and… be careful when you come back and forth. Don't make it too often. But the bread and sweets would be appreciated. Anything that helps out is wonderful and things that deviate from the norm are an extra bonus. I'm sure Quinn's covered how secret all of this has to be kept?" Always safe to double check!

"Yup. I can understand. Secret hideouts aren't useful if they aren't secret," Elaine says, giving a nod. "But I figure I can bake some fresh bread right before the next time I come, that way we've got some fresh. I can imagine it's tiring to have the same thing all the time."

"It is. Especially for the children. And those that can't make the trip back and forth." Lynette rests her free hand on the girl's shoulder. "For the network's safety and yours, Elaine. You have to appear unaffiliated. Then you can stay unimportant to the men from the Capitol. But, glad to have you aboard. If you have any questions about anything, concerns or whathaveyou, grab any of the council members. We're around."

"Unaffiliated." Elaine grins a little. "So… I just do what I've been doing, for the most part. Just let me know if there's anything you need, and I'll be around. Plus I'm handily located with Quinn."

"Exactly. When something comes up that fits you, we'll haul you in. For now, we're all laying low so the operations won't kick up for a bit. You'll be kept in the loop, of course. If necessary, through Quinn." Lynette starts to bring the cigarette back to her lips, but pauses to add, "Oh. And we told Quinn and now we'll tell you. If one of your friends are wounded or whatnot… do ask before sneaking them into our secret hideouts. I do believe that covers it, though. Be smart, help out, keep quiet."

"Be smart, help out, keep quiet," Elaine echoes, then grins. "Thanks, sounds like a plan. And I'll ask if I need some kind of help or something like that. Just keep me informed…" She watches the cigarette. "I'll add 'stay safe' to that list too, I think."

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