Birthday Cheer


elisabeth_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Birthday Cheer
Synopsis A chance encounter allows Ygraine to pass information to Elisabeth and receive some in return - but precious little of it is good.
Date February 1 2011

Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island, formerly known as Welfare Island and before that Blackwell's Island, is a narrow island in the East River of New York City. It lies between the island of Manhattan to its west and the borough of Queens to its east. Running from Manhattan's East 46th to East 85th streets, it is about two miles long, with a maximum width of 800 feet, and a total area of 147 acres.

The island is part of the Borough of Manhattan and New York County. Together with Mill Rock Island, Roosevelt Island once had a population of about 12,000 prior to the bomb. The land is owned by the city, but was leased to the State of New York's Urban Development Corporation for 99 years in 1969. Most of the residential buildings on Roosevelt Island are rental buildings.

Following the bomb, Roosevelt Island suffered a great deal of damage from the throw debris from the explosion of Midtown Manhattan. The tram service connecting Roosevelt Island to Midtown was destroyed on the midtown end, leaving one small bridge connecting to Long Island City in Queens as the only means out of the city. Subsequent fires, looting and food riots on the island left what was once a prosperous neighborhood in ruins in the aftermath of the bomb. Business began to close one by one, residence left for the outskirts of New York City, and now Roosevelt Island is like a shell of its former self, a proverbial ghost-town with a population of only 700 on the island. Streets are untended, cracked and dusty, weeds growing up between the broken pavement. It is not an uncommon sight to see old newspapers blowing across the street and the boarded up windows of shops and apartments.

Outside, the weather might have been decidedly inclement - but within the Dome, things are still, comparatively warm, and eerily quiet. Traffic is distinctly sparse compared to the norm; precious few electrical devices are still in heavy use; and many of the remaining population are every bit as subdued as might be expected for those dwelling inside a mysterious force that has already wrought such visible destruction.

Some of those caught inside the field of effect, however, are out and about - and one such figure, clad largely in black leathers but for once moving on foot and without a helmet, is presently tramping around the interior of the perimeter, zig-zagging to and fro wherever it slices through buildings. Dubiously eyeing the snow heaped up against the strange effect, Ygraine periodically shakes her red-dyed head in despair or disbelief, but for the most part manages to convey a rather purposeful and businesslike air. Whatever the dismounted biker is up to, she appears to be taking it seriously.

Yesterday's storm dumped a good six inches in most places outside the dome. The city seems endlessly under siege from Snowmaggedon — but at least it's not as bad as last winter's Evo storms. Still, the city's infrastructure is overwhelmed. Which of course means that people like Liz Harrison are out on the street handling things instead of simply coordinating from their offices. At the moment, the blonde director of FRONTLINE Manhattan is out on the edge of Roosevelt Island with a bluetooth in her ear, tromping through snow in heavy boots and coat, giving as much relief as she can to soldiers and cops on the streets near the dome while she waits for the one member of her own team trapped inside to make a meet.

Carrying a travel mug of coffee with her, Elisabeth paces the confines of the barrier, touching and testing its feel where she can. She grins a bit at her companion, a young soldier set to 'guard' her, and says, "Burgess, go on back to the APC, okay? I'll be there in a few minutes, but you've been out here hours. You need to warm up. Tell 'em I sent you."

The kid looks pathetically grateful. "You sure, ma'am?"

"I'm sure. Get goin', kid." They're all kids to Elisabeth at this point. And when he turns to walk back, she continues onward…. to inspect the scene where one of the soldiers yesterday was literally split in half. The coroner has half of him at the morgue, but…. It's bad.

The movement of someone on the far side draws her blue eyes and she stops moving to stand and watch. The person may or may not think it smart to approach someone on the outside of the dome, Elisabeth has no way of knowing.

Figures beyond the Dome do indeed draw some attention. It's not exactly warm, at first - the initial responses of armed men confronted with the unknown too often involving pointing guns and / or shouting a lot - but Ygraine does note the official-seeming demeanour, and the possibly-mirrored intent of the patrolling figure. And who could be hostile while clutching a mug?

Approaching the stationary individual, the Briton raises a hand in greeting - then double-takes and grins upon recognising the heavily-muffled blonde. "Hello, there."

Who could be hostile with a coffee mug indeed? Elisabeth remains in position, a non-threat to the person on the far side. After all, even if she had a weapon, it's not as if they penetrate the forcefield. She's surprised, though, that it's a known face. "Hello yourself," she says carefully. "I'm Director Liz Harrison, of FRONTLINE. Thanks for coming over. I was hoping someone would come out and talk." No point in outing their relationship, yeah? "Can you give me an update on the situation?"

"In need of hot coffee", Ygraine says with another grin. "I've been feeding out bits and pieces of information through Stillwater - there's a wounded trooper in here, who I've been trying to help to treat…. But I suppose that word never spreads rapidly."

Glancing to either side, looking along the gently-curved interior of the snow drift, she gently shakes her head. "As I told one of your people when I figured it out - this seems to be a sphere. I was one of those who went down into the subway to fetch up survivors from the train that got cut in two, and down that deep the 'dome' is starting to curve back around. Where the exact centre-point is, I'm not sure. I know that some people went looking for it on the ground, but I couldn't tell you if it's above or below the surface wherever it is. Nor what's there…"

"Otherwise? We're not set up to deal properly with the casualties, but there are at least trained doctors at the Suresh Centre… and they've been doing what they can for the more serious injuries. The others, the ones who aren't judged to be too seriously wounded, are mostly out in temporary… reception centres, I suppose the term might be. For supplies… I'm really not sure. All the gas and electricity lines have been cut. There's been at least one explosion from leaking gas, but most of it should have dissipated - or settled - by now…."

Elisabeth nods slightly. "We've got scientists looking for the center with the curvature estimates. Once we have something, I'm going to see what I can do about getting my operative to pull together a team. I'm grateful there's still cell reception, but we're going to start losing that too. I've got soldiers inside conserving cell phone batteries where they can, and the handheld radios will continue to work as long as people have portable batteries. Are there enough places with generators?"

"Enough for what?", Ygraine asks ruefully. "Most people are going to need some time to adjust to going without heating, and there are a good few of us transients who have nothing but whatever we had on us or in our vehicles. Some noises were made about trying to round up and ration supplies, but… I'm honestly not sure how successful they'll be."

Shrugging, the Briton sighs. "The lack of wind does mean that it's clearly warmer in here than out there. There was some initial concern about 'using up' the air in here - and there probably still is. But anything that doesn't happen immediately and isn't visible tends to recede as a fear, doesn't it? But… the fact that sound can carry through suggests to me that there is at least some movement possible. We can hope so…. But… yes. Sorry. We might not be totally dependent on batteries and generators, though it'll be close. I've got a hand-powered charger, that can keep small items running. So my own phone should stay active for as long as I am. But I can't exactly run many things off it."

Elisabeth listens carefully to the information being offered. "Well, nothing has been conclusive on that front — they can't get smoke to pass through. I'm worried about the air situation myself, but there's not a damn thing we can do right now except hope that something is getting through. The water pipes are obviously burst, so conserving water and batteries where you can is going to be paramount. If you have to resort to burning things for heat, remember that fire eats oxygen. And if there's no air getting through, that's going to be a problem."

Ygraine nods ruefully. "I know, I know. We… should see if we can confirm the passage of air. Seal a glass container onto the field, using putty or something else air-tight. Match up a container on the far side that can measure pressure - even if it's just having it part-filled with smoke. Heat the container on this side: see if the pressure increases on the outside. If we can confirm that we can force molecules through, then we can look to have you guys set up a 'feed' of air flowing in, if only to reassure people…."

Hunching her shoulders a little as she further buries her hands in her pockets, the biker sighs. "There's… no real organisation here. Just people doing whatever they can. As a result, there's no real… central awareness of what resources we have, how limited they are, or anything of the sort. That I'm out here tramping around the edge to see if the field's expanded or contracted at all - that's just my own initiative."

There's a quick nod. "I'm working with the commanders out here now to try to pull together the kind of organization you're going to need for that. But your voice, remaining calm, is going to help. The more people we can keep calm and keep doing things steadily… that's all to the good. Everyone's stressed, scared. I know that. But I think between the soldiers, the guy I have boots on the ground, and you and Jaiden, things can stay calm enough in this general area. You have my cell number — call me if you find anything in terms of contraction or expansion, okay? And I'll contact someone in there with intel if we can locate the center."

"No noticable movement that I can perceive, and it doesn't appear to have a significant corrosive effect on what it touches", Ygraine provides. "Want to swap phone numbers, in case anyone's watching? And… yeah. If this thing stays up for any length of time, we'll start to have new problems. Food, clean water, heat and air are the obvious ones… but there…." A pause, and she hunches still further. "There were people who were in the back half of the severed carriage on the train. They're… still in there. It…." Her hands emerge, to make compressing motions. "Like a concertina. And all the sewer lines are ruptured, too. I first confirmed it went below the surface and that we'd have gas troubles by checking out a sewer…."

Shaking her head, she frowns worriedly, pale features tight with tension. "I could see things getting a lot worse in here, very rapidly."

Elisabeth laughs softly. "Even if they're watching, we can't exactly trade paper." She pulls out her cell phone, though, yanking her glove off with her teeth, and makes a show of putting in a phone number. Taking the glove from her mouth, she muses, "I wonder if I can encase us in a silence field through the bubble. Let's not try that just yet. Keep me updated. You can do it yourself if you like, but JJ is one of mine — I'm actually waiting on him to show up out here. Just assure people that we're working on the problem, okay?"

Ygraine also makes a show of fiddling with her phone - taking the opportunity to turn it on and check for messages - before looking up and grinning briefly. "He's someone you trust? Good. He's one of the people I've been trying to pass information to. He was… down in the train with me."

Shaking her head, she forces the return of a smile. "I fear that any solution will have to be… brought about in here, but the more help we can get with figuring out what it should be, the better. I've been considering trying to test my ability through the field… but if it really is quite as… fundamental a force as it seems, then I'm worried about what the feedback might be if things go screwy. If it has presence but no mass, then its interactions with gravity could be… interesting."

Elisabeth shrugs a little. "I trust Jaiden too, but it'd be…. less conspicuous if you keep JJ informed and let him keep me abreast. Unless something specific to nonmilitary shit pops up. From what we can tell thus far, it's light-based. A certain shadowy friend said he would be unable to get through because of that. And it seems impervious to both gunfire and power usage so far. There are some ideas floating, but until we get a good feel for what it is, I'm reluctant to allow too much head-on smashing at it, you know?"

"Light? Bollocks", Ygraine responds, with some feeling. "That… yeah. If you want, I can go ahead and try a small-scale experiment reaching through and trying not to affect it directly. I manipulate objects, and don't directly generate force myself. But… light and gravity do interact, so… I'd be very wary indeed of doing anything to the field directly. If it was… a physical construct of some sort, I could potentially have used it as a climbing surface - and could have anchored things to it. But… I'm glad I didn't try anything, now."

There's a bit of a shrug and Elisabeth says, "If you want to try anything, just do it away from people." It's about all the advice she can really offer. "We obviously can't airdrop supplies in, so ….. getting people organized is paramount at the moment." Along with making sure they have enough air. "I need to head back. Anything else I need to know?"

"Not… that springs to mind. Nothing's got too bad in here, as yet, but… I'm worried about what might happen once people start thinking beyond tomorrow, and realise that there are virtually no cops around. It wouldn't take many troublemakers to raise Hell in here, unfortunately. But… sorry." Ygraine shrugs, and offers a grimacing smile. "I tend to talk a lot when I'm worried. No, there's nothing else I need to hold you up for. Go and get out of the cold. And see if you can track down even just the name of a retired councillor, or something, who's in here and might serve as a head of 'civil authority' we can organise things around. Even if he does nothing but let us use his name, it could provide some reassurance to the people in here that matters are in hand."

Elisabeth simply nods. "We're doing what we can. Just… hang tight, Ygraine." She smiles a little. "We're going to get you all out." She doesn't know how yet, but it's going to happen. She turns to trudge back through the snow toward the APC.

Ygraine nods solemnly, then - perhaps a little belatedly - remembers something. "Oh! Thank you. I… I do appreciate what you're trying to do, honestly. And… good luck keeping order out there. And with staying warm!"

Raising a hand in farewell, Ygraine turns away as well - though in her case, she's off to resume her trudge around the perimeter. It's not as if she has much else to do to celebrate her birthday, after all.

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