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Scene Title Bitter
Synopsis There isn't one person at Bennet's impromptu meeting who isn't about something.
Date November 14, 2010

Primatech Paper Facility

Purified in a sense, all that once marked this building as a storage facility for Primatech Paper has been burned up or off, leaving a sooty but still structurally sound shell. The red brick walls of this derelict storage facility are spraypainted with numerous length of old and faded graffiti on the outside. Smashed windows and vacant parking lots show all the telltale signs of abandonment and disuse.

Despite it's decrepit nature, small groupings of furniture have been pulled in from the outside to the spacious and open floors of thw facility, from ratty old couches to mismatched tables and chairs in some sort of makeshift living space that gives the impression of transient use, not permanent shelter. Being scavenged, it could be assumed to belong to any number of homeless gangs or groups who might use the space as shelter from the elements.

There are memories here, at the Primatech Paper building. Memories mostly for Noah Bennet and Hana Gitelman, and none of them particularly fond ones. Beneath the pale fluorescent lighting of what was once a Company facility in years gone by, now only those memories are left to stain the present, and they aren't particularly strong ones.

Situated in a spacious and chilly second floor conference room, elements of the Ferrymen's organizational council are situated around a lone folding table capable of seating ten, but occupied at current by far less. Metal chairs are arranged around the table, and much of the remainder of the conference room lies in terrible disrepair. The paint curls like old parchment paper off of the walls and ceiling, revealing molded woodwork beneath. The windows are fogged up with frost from the cold outside and a pair of kerosene heaters humm softly at opposite ends of the room, offering meager warmth.

Sitting at one end of the table by simple merit of having chosen the seat first, Noah Bennet looks drawn thin and exhausted. His face is subtly thinner than in recent months, dark circles more prevalent under his eyes from the absence of his horn-rimmed glasses, now replaced by more subtle wire-rimmed spectacles following the riots.

"So, before Claire gets here…" Noah offers in a weary tone of voice, "I wasn't sure how best to relay this information to you all up until now." He looks over to the wooden canr resting against the corner of the table, one needed with the damage done to his leg that is still in the process of healing. "But I was delivered a message courtesy of Ygraine Fitzroy." Noah's eyes settle on the table, his fair brows furrowing. They seem so much thinner, so much fainter without the line of definition that his old glasses provided him.

"She has informed me of something that most of you may be aware of, that something has happened to Wireless. According to the letter, she has had her ability forcibly exchanged, and it now inhabits a man named John Logan."

Lifting up one hand to his brow, Bennet rubs his palm across his mouth and looks down to the table. "Hana has no telling how long this will last, but if my gut is telling me what I think it is this sounds similar — if not identical — to what happened with Tyler Case last year. And some of you may be aware that that switch lasted for months. Hana has warned us that her ability in Logan's hands could come as a hazard to our operations…"

Rolling his shoulders, Bennet slides his hands down into his lap and folds them there. "Furthermore, Fitzroy also delivered a message from Elisabeth Harrison. She's offered up the assistance of Redbird Security Solutions and Richard Cardinal's people however the network may need them, though she emphasizes that she is having undisclosed problems with the Institute due to their group's activities against them. Elisabeth has given me a contact number," and on that, Bennet reaches inside of his jacket and withdraws a torn slip of paper and slides it across the table, "that we can discretely contact her at with a time of day. She'll rendezvous at the supplied date and time at the Nite Owl diner om Chelsea…"

Clearing his throat, Bennet folds his hands in his lap again and offers a look towards the backs of his hands. "Unfortunately, I dont have any information on what news Claire is bringing us…"

Eileen stands with her back to the table by the remains of a blown-out window, shards of glass glittering in its frame and on the floor at her feet. A wool coat, leather gloves and rose-coloured scarf in soft cashmere allow her freedom of movement outside the radius of the heaters. Her left hand rests on the window's frame while the right holds her cane, and although she's able to get around without it with the guidance of the magpie sitting stalwart on her shoulder, its eyes fixated on the snowy ground below, watching the treeline outside for movement.

The last time there were this many of the network's leadership in one room at one time on Staten Island, one fourth of them were killed. She'd like not to have a repeat of that incident.

"If it wasn't for John Logan," she says, "we would have lost all our people at the parking garage inside the Reclaimed Zone instead of just the five. It's a hazard, yes, but he's shown no inclination to act against us in any way. I'm meeting with him soon to discuss business."

Though she seems slightly distracted - possibly by fact that she's walking a former Company building with Noah Bennet, something with to this day brings a bit of an unsettling feeling to Barbara Zimmerman's stomach, regardless of knowing that such a thing is no longer justified - she is more attentive thann first glance would lead one to believe. Arms crossed, she's only distracted from her preoccupied mental muses once Noah brings up the subject of his daugher. She purses her lips as she listens, only speaking up once the subject of Hana is broached, blanching a bit at the mention of Tyler Case. Swallowing down a bit of a lump in her throat, she sighs.

"So, that's what happened?" she says quietly, and with no small amount of surprise on her face."Cat had said something to me about Wireless being compromised the other. It could be Tyler himself. Who knows what The Institute is putting him up to now," she muses. "They took Libby too, they could be coercing him." Which is an unpleasent thought, one that makes Barbara mentally wince, a shake of her head coming afterwards.

"I spoke to Elisabeth Harrison the other day myself, while I was in the city of personal matters," the redhead notes, pulling her hat off of her head just enough to straighten her hair. "She requested negation drugs, if we can spare them. She's willing to trade whatever supplies or service she can, but apparently they're of great need to her." There's a bit of a shrug in conclusion, shoulders rolling as she looks around the room at the rest of the group.

"Perhaps I'm showing off just how new I am here, but who is John Logan and why is he on the naughty list this Christmas," Lynette asks with a hint of a crooked smile and a hint of a sly tease in her tone. Her attention turns to Eileen when she speaks, and it makes her lift an eyebrow. She doesn't comment there, having very little knowledge on the matter, but she does seem intrigued. As for the other news, she seems a little more understanding. After all, she likes Liz and Richard.

"To the best of my knowledge," Noah begins with a certain uncomfortable quality, "John Logan is a Linderman Group employee, after a fashion, runs a brothel and is responsible for the kidnap and torture of one of our council members almost two years ago." That Noah glances across the table to Abby is obvious, but he doesn't need to drag her into this directly. "He deals in human trafficking and God knows what else, and while I appreciate what he did for our people at that parking garage, I can't help but wonder how much of that was motivated by self preservation."

Noah's brows furrow, frustratedly, "Furthermore, we have no reason to believe that his furthered self interests won't present revealing information about our network or its movements to the authorities if it serves him. I have been given no reason to trust him with the kind of ability that Hana possesses, or even so much as to trust him around objects as sharp as a spoon."

They come from different worlds, Noah and Logan, vastly different ones. "As for the negation drugs…" Noah looks a bit uncertain on that, turning his attention up to Eileen. "Exactly how large are our stores of adynomine? Cat had given a fair share of the pill cocktails we used to use in the Company to Herrera when she was under our care, and the remainder — as far as I was aware — to Abigail. I know we had some adynomine, but with the doses we'd given to Benji I don't know how low we are, or if we have a resource for procurement."

"We can't afford to allocate it outside the network," is Eileen's assessment of the Adynomine situation. "I'd have preferred to keep Foster negated for the duration of his stay on Pollepel due to the nature of his ability, but we can't afford that either. Whether or not you believe Logan can be trusted, I intend to ask him if he can use Wireless' ability to access the database and find out when the next supply shipment is being sent out to Miller Air Field. It's not just negation drugs weren't short on, but vaccines as well, and we know for a fact that they stock it for H5N10."

A tremor rustles through the magpie's feathers, and a moment later a sleek gray and black goshawk lands on a branch a few meters from the window's opening with enough force to dislodge several skinny fingers of ice, which tumble to earth and shatter soundlessly upon impact. The Englishwoman's back stiffens in apparent surprise, but she does not retreat from the window or even turn her head. "Targeting the right shipment should provide us with enough of both to last through the winter, provided that we carefully ration it. We can't go on the way we have been."

"Sounds like one of the last people we need to be telling much of anything to," Barbara comments dryly, a bit of a grimace on her face. She doesn't know much, if anything, of John Logan either, but the picture Bennet paints is not one she is comfortable with in the slightest. "If Hana's been power switched with this man, do we know what it is she's been burdened with instead of her technopathy?" Fingers tap on her arm as she looks from Bennet over to Lynette and Cat, curious as to what she has to say on the matter.

The mention, however, of the lack of negation drugs has her craning her head back so that she can look at the ceiling with a sharp exhale. "I'm planning to go see Elisabeth tomorrow, since I'm here in the city anyway." A nodding motion is given over towards Cat, a motion of recognition. "I know Cat wanted to come with me to meet with her. I can pass that on then, unless someone would rather I didn't."

"I'm with Eileen on this one. With the network depleted as we are, we're going to have to be less… free with the supplies." Lynette frowns slightly, as if that shift displeases her, but… "Perhaps when we're back on our feet… but we have this island full of people we're responsible for directly for now."

She nods to Barbara there, pointing in her direction. "That's a good question. Do we know what Hana got in return? Anything?"

"It would be of good value to learn Adynomine's chemical formula so we can create our own stocks," Cat opines from her seat. Thickly gloved hands rest flat on the table's surface, eyes rove the length of that furniture piece to settle on each of the others in attendance. "I do agree with Noah, John Logan being technopathic in Hana's fashion is dangerous, but only so much as it applies to future electronic transmissions. The exchange does not transfer memories, and hopefully the word spread quickly enough for such things to cease. As to what Hana now has, it's a form of biochemical manipulation which includes negation."

She goes on after a brief pause. "It's curious Redbird Security is seeking stocks of the drug, one would hope Elisabeth has access to such things in her capacity with Frontline, but she said nothing to me of sending Claire with a message when we met earlier. A message she could very well have given me directly to pass along. If I were to hazard a guess, their need for the drug is because Tyler Case struck some of Richard's associates. He wouldn't say who they are, but he did indicate this was the case, and I would presume they're having issues with control."

Claire Bennet was nervous about meeting her father again to begin with, especially after she took that swing at him while under Rupert's influence. Something she still blames herself for. She had been hoping to talk to him and apologize for what happen. Practicing what she'd say to him in her head, rather nervously.

At least, ‘til Claire sees the entourage he brought with him, it has to stop as soon as she comes into view. There is at first shock.

This she wasn't expecting.

For those that had seen her only months before, the ex-cheerleader doesn't look like she did in Messiah, brunette hair is left loose to fall over her shoulders rather then pulled into that severe ponytail, her jacket is worn black leather, but she's wearing a dark blue sweater and lighter blue jeans. Except for the dark hair, Claire looks a little more like herself.

As the regenerator's eyes wander over the council, there is no hiding the hurt that she won't get to talk to Noah alone, maybe a little irritation about it, too. It's only there for a moment, before she pushes away those personal issues and focuses on what Liz sent her there for. "Um — hello." Claire offers them all a nervous smile, chin lifting a little. "I appreciate — well I guess all of you being here — though, a little overkill isn't it?" The last asked a touch softly and directed at her father, blue eyes settling on him again he can see that hurt.

Claire's arrival into the dilapidated office does little to dissuade Noah from continuing the conversational thread. While he may not trust his daughter with the location of Pollepel Island — or even that it exists — she is still his baby girl, and if he hadn't wanted her to be in on this conversation, he wouldn't have invited the council.

"Find us an organic chemist capable of analyzing adynomine, and a pharmacutical laboratory capable of replicating it and we'll be in business." Admittedly Noah's answer is a touch sarcastic. "In the long-run Eileen's solution is the most viable that we have, even if dangerous. Given the severity of the situation I might recommend that we appoint someone to make contact with whoever remains from Messiah. They may be blunt instruments, but this Perry Jones at least seems to be able to be negotiated with from reports I've heard. If we offer to split the dividends of the attack with them, we could hit more than one vehicle in the shipment. We'll need the extra force after what happened to us the last time we tried to knock over one of their shipments."

Looking up to Claire, Noah waves her over to the table, but dismisses her notions of overkill as he turns his attention back to the council. "As for what's happening with Tyler Case, I think this is something Claire can help clear up for us, given her connections to Redbird." Turning his head to regard Claire again, Noah's eyes are hidden behind the glare on the lenses of his glasses.

Barbara can't help but smirk at that comment, even as she turns to look at the arriving young woman. Arms unfold and hands slip into her pockets - for whatever reason, Claire's arrival makes Barbara feel more relaxed. Perhaps having someone not Council there makes things feel a bit less official. "If she has anything to say about Tyler, I'm interested to hear it," she says quietly, gaze fixed on Noah's daughter, likely a familiar stare to the former cheerleader, if given by a different woman in the past.

"Oh don't mind us. We can't even go to the restroom alone anymore," Lynette says to Claire's reaction to them all being there. But as Noah goes on, there's a bit of a chuckle. "I think I can field being the Messiah contact, if no one has any objections." But other than that, she sits back, listening.

"I have roughly two weeks worth, maybe a bit more of negation drugs in my possession." Mentally tallying up the pills in her bags back on the island. "I'm saving them for a rainy day, for when I have a bad day." Not if, when. "But I can give them up and will, if it's needed, just that this is the pill ones and not the injected. The pill ones are awful fierce to come off of and shouldn't be… used with strict regularity." Which might explain why she wasn't doing that.

John Logan, well. Abby looks away when Bennet looks to her, preferring not to think of that time, and to focus on the events at hand right now, like Claire arriving. "Claire." Greeting a former short term roommate. The former blonde leans forward at the table, rubbing at her temples and waiting for whatever revelation Claire has coming.

Oh yay, put on the spot. Claire glances at the others for a moment before she says anything. "The only thing I'm really certain of is that Tyler Case attacked Redbird in full Horizon armor." There details she blatantly skips over. While her father may be one of the Ferrymen's council and they have helped in the past, she made a promise to her own leader to leave certain information for her to give. "He switched the abilities of three of our own operatives." Which might explain the odd request, from Elisabeth.

"And my connections… father — " Claire uses the formal word for emphasis in her dislike of being put on the spot. " — are spotty right now. I'm not as — privy to information at the moment." Which is partially of her own doing, with her self inflicted isolation. "I've only just really been brought back into the fold."

Gaze moving to the others Claire adds, "So if you are hoping for me to spill all sorts of information, I can't. Liz wants that privilege. In fact, she wants to talk to you — " again her eyes are on Noah " — and Jensen Raith… and whoever else you trust with what she needs to talk about, which according to her is pretty damn dire." Her hands spread a bit, as that was her mission here tonight. A summons for the great Noah Bennet and friends.

Lynette's willingness to meet with Messiah admittedly earns something of a silent look from Noah, his brows furrowed and lips downturned into a frown. It isn't an ideal situation, but it's one that Bennet has little choice in allowing given the reluctance of so many other Ferry operatives to even deal with Messiah at all. "Thank you, Lynette. Since this was Eileen's idea I'll let you and her handle the remainder of the details, and if anyone from Messiah is willing you can coordinate with Special Activities as a go-between." The more distance he keeps from actual true-and-true Messiah members at the majority of the Ferrymen the better, in his eyes.

"I'll leave the decision of what to do with your surplus of drugs up to Eileen," Noah off-handedly mentions to Abby, then lowers his hand from the bridge of his nose, looking first to Cat, then over to Claire with waning patience already. He takes a moment to compose his thoughts, to lift his glasses up further on his nose, glasses different than the ones Claire picked out for him all those years ago. That he has a cane nearby is another unusual sight when contrasted against Noah as Claire remembers him. Her father is getting old.

"I'll pass on the word to Jensen and the Special Activities department, but without an idea of what Elisabeth Harrison considers dire, I can't promise you that they'll show up. Claire, if you know something that could endanger the Ferry or the people in its care… endanger your mother or Lyle, I'm hoping that I raised you well enough to know what's more important."

Eileen turns away from the window, enough that she's no longer speaking with her back to the room; behind the veil of her hair, the curve of her milk-pale jaw is visible, and so is the glassy reflection of her left eye, its texture like what's hanging from the top of the frame, cold and glittering. Her magpie is reluctant to take its gaze off the goshawk for even a moment, twisting around on her shoulder to keep the larger bird in its periphery as it mantles its wings on the branch and parts its beak around a low hiss.

She glances at Claire, or appears to — the act of making eye contact with another person, or at the very least searching to meet their gaze as she does, is a courtesy more than anything else. Her chin dips into a faint nod at Bennet. "Is there a reason Elisabeth couldn't come here herself?" she asks. "Sending someone to a meeting to arrange another meeting where the involved party is already present seems unnecessarily convoluted."

"It's distressing to hear Tyler Case had Horizon armor when he made his strikes," Cat opines, "but not surprising at this point. I'm told it's not actually Tyler Case heading the Institute now, but an elder version of Richard Cardinal slipped into his body through the talents of Doctor Carpenter. The mechanics of this still haven't been shared with me. This iteration of Richard is working to frustrate the younger one's efforts."

A nod of agreement is given to Eileen before Barbara looks back at Claire. "I am a bit confused myself. She's open to meetings, clearly. As I said, I'm to meet with her again tomorrow, and I've already dropped in on her once. If she thought she were being watched or something of that sort, where we're meeting wouldn't matter…" She wrinkles her nose, arms crossing again. "I still plan on going tomorrow, if word can get back to Raith quickly enough, you and he are more than welcome to come, Noah."

With that said, her gaze moves down tot he floor. "What the hell did they do to you, Tyler, to-"

And she just catches what Cat says, over her own distracted mumbling, and she just stops, staring down at the floor with eyes wide. It takes a moment before she looks back up at Cat with just raw shock on her face. "They did what to Tyler?"

No love for Tyler Case - he's on par with Logan and Muldoon in Abby's books - and when it comes out Tyler Case is heading up the Institute but wait, it's really some version of Richard, there's still no sympathy for what's been done to the man. Okay, maybe just a fraction, but that's it. It makes, however, what Richard warned her of the Institute make sense. Don't trust him.

"With her new position in FRONTLINE it could be that she has someone watching over her, or that she can't just willy nilly run off to a place like this without drawing the wrong attention, but the Nite Owl is a place that she frequents, it's where I met her a couple years ago." Abby points out. But still. Meetings, to talk about arranging another meeting. Redundant.

Of course, he invokes the names of family and Claire has to struggle to keep her composure. With the approaching holidays, the young woman is struggling with a bout of homesickness. Her jaw tightens and she looks away from her father, "It's not my place to say. It's not something a mere messenger should tell people. It's important enough that Liz feels that the news should come from her as Endgame's leader." What was that?

Eileen's question gets a glance, but Cat's speaking up gets a stare from the regenerator, brows drop and she looks utterly confused. As it's exactly the information that Elisabeth wanted to discuss with Claire's father.

There is a sigh at all the confusion, Claire looks suitably embarrassed. " Look…" Irritation makes her bite the word off short. "She sent me… cause she thought I might like some time with my father, not the whole Ferry council," an accusing glance going to Noah, tone slightly bitter. "So that maybe we can patch some things up." Shove that knife of guilt into daddy's heart, Claire, cause clearly that didn't end up the case. And now she's standing before all these people having to explain that embarrassing detail. "And while I was at it…" Again the arms spread from her sides in a 'well there you have it' sort of way.

Noah lifts up one hand to adjust his glasses, looking away from Claire and down to his lap when Cat finally lets out that information. He's silent, for a good long while before scratching one hand at the side of his jaw. "If I had time for my family right now, Claire, your mother and I wouldn't be in the position we are…" There's a certain tension in Noah's voice when he admits that, and on looking up to his daughter his throat works up and down in a dry swallow.

Inviting some members of the council here may have been a part of an ulterior design to avoid family conversations entirely. "Let's… just focus on the business at hand, and now that we've aired that bit of dirty laundry, a handful of questions come to mind."

Firstly, Noah offers a look to Cat. "How long have you known this, and furthermore how long were you planning on keeping it to yourself? Secondly, can we verify that this is actually the case," Tyler-related pun unintended, "because that seems almost too unbelievable, even for the world we're living in."

Then, to Claire, one brow slowly rises. "Since we're all being honest, maybe you'd have some more things you could share now? Better for us to be equipped going into the conversation with Harrison, especially if what Cat says is true, and if she isn't aware."

Eileen has questions. She can taste them going sour on her tongue. Her instinct is to defend Catherine's claim — it was a little more than a year and a half ago that Edward Ray and his followers came back from the year 2019, and that someone else might try the same thing does not strike her as particularly implausible, but for whatever reason she is silent except for the sound of her breathing, and no one except magpie and goshawk are close enough to the window to hear it.

She opts to wait, listening, and strike off what she desires to say one point at a time as her concerns are addressed by other people.

"I believe Elisabeth knows," Cat provides, "and as to how long, this information only recently came to me. I had no intention of keeping it to myself, silence earlier was held to allow Claire her chance to share if she would. Since she did not, I have. Elisabeth may well have other things she wishes to relay in the meeting asked for, things I don't know much about, including ideas for using her position to work against the Institute. I don't know the mechanics of how an older Richard Cardinal came to be placed in Tyler's body, I can only surmise it involves time travel which went sour, given him not being in his own shape. But for all I know, maybe his original body was dying of old age and he chose to occupy a younger one. Making that happen is Elijah Carpenter's mojo. Some of you may remember Helena Dean being put into the body of a speedster, her spirit and memories duplicated just before that Humanis First cell grabbed her."

There's silence, save for the slow release of breath, as she meets Claire's eyes. This is why she spoke up, to avoid being questioned about keeping secrets, only to see it happen anyway.

Barbara's brow furrows, peering at Catherine for ever moments after she finishes speaking. For what it's worth, she believes Cat, perhaps against her better judgment. She isn't nearly as familiar with the more fantastic occurrences in New York City as most of the rest of them, having only heard stories and recountings from people both within the Ferry, and from refugees in Thompson who had come from the city. But just the other month she was hearing of a time war and all kinds of other craziness, so what Cat says is… certainly possible.

Eyes close for a moment, before Barbara shakes her head. She offers a look of apology over to Claire, but chooses wisely not to make a comment on family matters. "Well," she remarks, looking back at Cat. "I guess we know one of the first things we should ask Elisabeth. Although I would almost rather speak to Richard himself, if only for his take on it." There's a bit of a pause, before she looks back at Eileen. "Not that I can say I'd trust it."

"I can find Richard. I ran across him when I left Pollepel to find out how much vaccine stock we had. I can get away with bringing one more person with me, but not all of us, if we want to talk to Richard. Provided he hasn't moved on or returned to Redbird." Abigail offers up. No surprise that Cat was sitting on information.

Hands curls into fists at her side, Claire attempts not to show the anger she's feeling, but a flush of cheeks shows her embarrassment. She refuses to even allow herself tears right now. "All I know is she has some information on this other Cardinal. None of it good I'm sure. And before you ask, no I haven't met him myself," she says softly, voice fairly chilly and rough. "And that she has some information about the future. I don't know what; she said she wants to talk to you all about it.”

Her eyes meet Cat's briefly as she adds,"Because of her involvement with the present Cardinal and that she's EndGame's leader. She thought the information of the other Cardinal should come from her and not me. I'm just the messenger." Which is her reasoning for not saying the what. Now that it is practically an interrogation to get information from her, the ex-cheerleader is shutting down, not even bothering to look at her father now. "Anything else, you'll want to talk to Liz."

Slouching back in his chair as if he were deflating, Noah offers a tired nod. In the pale and hazy light of a cloudy afternoon coming through those frosted windows, there's the faintest touch of gray at Noah's temples, only visible when his fingers rake through his hair just so. "We have a lot on our plate," Noah wearily admits, lifting a hand to his mouth to scrub there slowly. "We… we hardly have the manpower to deal with the problems at hand that we have, let alone this."

Blinking his eyes shut, Noah pushes his glasses up the bridge of hose nose, holds his fingers there and then exhales a stressed sigh through clenched teeth. He's flagging, and it's visible to everyone around him, familiar with Noah's mannerisms or not. Whether it’s the stress of what it is he's doing, or the sheer complexity of the multi-headed fight that the Ferrymen are facing, Noah Bennet — a man who had prided himself on his implacable nature — is finally starting to crack.

He doesn't have a response. To all the information out there, all the possibilities, all the ways he could try and scheme to angle things. Noah simply can't manage it, and it becomes evident to Eileen first — since she saw it in Kazimir in those final days when the Vanguard had fallen apart and he was at his most desperate.

Noah doesn't know what to do.

She thinks that she does. "If what Elisabeth told Catherine is true, then we should operate on the assumption that the Institute is aware of all the network properties Cardinal is. Fortunately for us, this means that only the Garden is compromised. As far as I'm aware, he's never been authorized to visit Grand Central Terminal, and no one outside the Ferry knows about our other fallback location." Eileen isn't calling it Pollepel anymore. Not in Claire's presence. "We need the Garden. It's one of the only safehouses we have left, and as smart as abandoning in light of this new information might be, we don't have that luxury yet. Colette and Sable should be made aware of the risk but encouraged to stay if they're willing."

She turns her cane in her gloved hand and takes a step away from the window, her other hand drifting away from its frame. It too closes around the cane in a firm grip. "Keep in mind that Cardinal's experience with the network is largely limited to what it was before we reorganized, and while it's possible that the man in charge of the Institute does, there's nothing we can do about it except to carry on as we have been and stay vigilant, but I think that if Broome's people really knew where to find us— then they would have. This changes very little for us in the end."

"It was Richard himself who told me of this, when we met recently," Cat provides. "There is other information he has about a good many subjects, which I expect will soon be shared with me. I believe this turn of events makes him far more willing to communicate than he was, and leads him to contemplate moves he previously wouldn't consider. As for us, Eileen's correct. We do what we do, and collect as much information as possible regarding our adversaries so we can make solid decisions as time goes on in relation to them and the actions of other factions. We continue to recover. Despite how it may seem, there are people in this room who've faced and overcome more troublesome challenges."

Now is when a bit of skepticism comes up on Barbara's face, as if she has less confidence on this matter than either Eileen or Cat. But, for the moment, she keeps this thought to herself. It's likely a discussion for another time, and having it here, in front of Claire, is uncalled for. Instead she brings a hand up to rub her face as she exhales slowly. "That's a good way to look at this," she concedes with a nod. The fact that she's rather troubled, though, still shows on her face. "We will have to tread carefully regardless, I think." A few beats of silence from her as she taps a foot, before looking between the other council members again. "Like I said, I'm planning on sticking around, at least until tomorrow. I can arrange for a message to be sent to the Garden, if not make the trip myself. Whichever works well enough."

"I've done my job." Claire offers between gritted teeth, her tone still holds that biting chill, the fists at her side tremble a little. Taking a step or two back, the regenerator still doesn't even offer her father a glance. It would hurt too much. She is intending on leaving. "I'll leave you all to talk. You have a way to contact Liz, if you should like to hear what she has to say. I strongly encourage you to find out what she has to say."

Starting to turn, Claire stops and looks at the other council members. "Thank you, council, for hearing what I had to say." There is no goodbye for her father; he made his bed, so he'll have to lay in it much like she does.

As soon as her back is turned the tears are threatening, blurring her vision, so Claire is quick to attempt an exit, without looking like she's rushing. All the while wondering…

What was she thinking?

"Claire," is weakly, waveringly offered by Noah. He tries to just push himself up from his chair in a hurry, legs scraping back across the floor on rubber-stoppered feet, but his right leg gives out, sending Noah buckling down until his hands can catch him on the table. Frustration and embarrassment paints itself across his face, and with a shaky hand he reaches out for that damnable cane of his, resting his weight on it and shooting a challenging look across the people gathered at the table, defensive and insecure.

"Claire, wait." Stepping around the table, Noah's walk is evidently supported by a limp, favoring that weak right side as he hobbles after his daughter, ahead of him by several paces and a healthier stride out into the hall beyond the conference room. There was a meeting going on, Noah had even gone through the trouble of arranging it, and now he's chasing after his familial problems with hobbling cadence, leaving the remainder of the council to their own devices without so much as a suggestion on progress.

Admittedly, in recent days, Noah has been feeling less and less like the Ferrymen needs his direct council. Whether it’s a sense of the baby bird finally being strong enough to leave the nest, or that he's finally realizing he's not the spry young man he once was, hopping fences and chasing down Evolved.

When he pushes open that door to the hall, chasing after Claire, he's at least putting his personal priorities straight. Even if that may not align entirely with the network's.

Same behavior, different group.

It takes Eileen until Bennet and Claire's footsteps have been reduced to echoes to recognize the twinge between her ribs for what it is. It must be nice, she decides, and there's bitterness in it, to have a father figure who chases you and not the other way around.

The magpie presses itself against her throat, the top of its head tucked under the bottom of her chin either for additional warmth, or protection — it isn't clear which, but the goshawk's presence is making it nervous. Eileen, too, because her unspoken command to leave isn't being heeded.

Maybe she isn't being assertive enough. Maybe she's just like Noah. Tired. "It would be better if you could deliver the message yourself," she tells Barbara, uneasy.

Eyes track the departing Bennets, Cat choosing not to comment at the moment. Eyes track across the table, to the members who remain, then once again between birdwoman and postcog. Whatever might be happening behind her eyes right now, she keeps it private.

Whereas for Eileen seeing Bennet take off after Claire brings up a bitterness, for Barbara it brings up a swell of sadness. Memories linger in her mind, if only briefly, of similar things transpiring between her and her father. She takes a moment to angle her vision down at the floor, letting it linger for several seconds before she looks back up. The look on her face looks like a mix between anger and sadness as she processes numerous bits of information gained today and over the last week.

Shake it off, shake it off. Eyes close for a moment as she recollects her thoughts, nodding at Eileen. "Right. I'll do that as soon as possible." Arms cross, and the postcog wrinkles her nose. "Am I the only one who finds it troublesome that Endgame's own people don't seem to be communicating with each other? I'm sure if Richard told Cat, he expected her to tell us…"

Family drama. How gauche. Lynette opts not to watch Noah and Claire leave, but instead looks over to Barbara. "Endgame may have felt the effects of November Eighth more strongly than any of us. I understand Richard was trying to prevent it. Clearly… that didn't quite go as planned. Disappointment in one's own failings can sting rather acutely. Or so I've heard."

"To be fair, there was a time when even we were doing the same thing. Which was why our council was formed," Abigail points out. "Richard tried hard to change it, yes, he sees this as a personal failure, like Sisyphus. He just needs some time to wallow and then he'll get moving again, but that's Endgame."

"Besides, with so few of us and we're so scattered and the fear of being watched, tracked, this is the first time to get the most of us in one room. She's been in the city, and we've not." Abigail points out a second time. "And since we're all here minus Mr. Bennet as he deals with familial issues…" Abby's dragging out a folded envelope, pulling out a letter. 'Took me a bit to figure it out, it's not like I recognize her handwriting but… Melissa's sent a letter. She wants to meet me, that she's come across 'o'. By O, I'm surmising, guessing that it's odessa. She said Odessa helped at Gun Hill, is inquiring after Susan. That I'm, I think she's asking me, to keep quiet, for Odessa's safety."

The envelope is placed on the table for whomever to grab. "Came in the last boat before the one we took.”

Eileen does not move for the letter. Neither does the magpie flutter over to the table for a closer look. Her mouth goes hard, her grip on her cane tightens and her nostrils flare around the next breath she lets out, surrendering the air in her lungs to keep from making an uncomfortable sound at the back of her throat.

Fingers pull the thick gloves off of her hands, then one of them reaches for the sealed envelope. Cat opens the item and extracts the contents, quite possibly intending to read them aloud. It's news to her, that Doctor Knutson-Price assisted at Gun Hill, a thing to ask some questions about, to verify, but she sets that aside along with the mental realization she really needs to converse with Melissa about that person and her history.

Time was, not so long ago, she'd set aside her own animosity toward that short blonde time manipulator given the assistance with Carlisle Dreyfus, but her betrayal and joining the Institute rekindles it all.

In her eyes is a flash of murderous rage.

Barbara's reaction is much more subdued than anyone else in the room, if nothing else than simply out of her ignorance regarding the person in question. She's heard a bit, of course, but nothing of the par to which Cat and Eileen have encountered. As Cat takes the note, Barbara wrinkles her nose and looks up at Abby with a questioning expression. "That's fair enough," she comments absentmindedly on the matter of the Ferry having been the same way at one point - perhaps that had been a benefit of Thompson's largely self contained state of existence. She remains quiet otherwise, watching Cat appraisingly.

"Did help out at Gun Hill. By the time I got back," 'got back' is Lynette's nice way of dancing around the captivity issue, "she was already gone again, I believe. I'm fuzzy on things that happened over the summer, but it is my understanding that we don't like Odessa… so why do we care about her safety? Forgive me if I'm missing something very obvious…"

"I don't rightly think that we do. I haven't sent any messages back, I haven't spoken to anyone, I don't even know what happened to Susan or if she's alive, well, who knows. I'm hoping she's rotting in some hot place in hell with the devil toying with her after what she's done." Abigail's looking at Eileen before she looks back to the letter now in Cat's hand. "What should I do about it? I don't trust Odessa, not with anything in truth."

"You shouldn't," says Eileen, and there's a weighty quality to her words that's been a long time coming. "When I told the network she'd been killed during our attack on the Institute's hospital facility, I wasn't entirely truthful in my report."

Eyes are quick in their perusal of that missive, after which fingers leave it on the table. Cat's gaze then shifts to Lynette with her confirmation of assistance, and moves on to Eileen with her own statement. "I feel in the mood for a story," she states in a quietly calm voice which quite probably belies her thoughts.

Normally, storytime is something that Barbara would revel in, be it because she's the one telling, or because there's a good chance someone else will be enrapture her with their own tale. This, however, present a more foreboding tone, one that has Barbara rubbing her chin. She doesn't respond to Cat, instead her first instinct to find another chair to sit in, in preparation for a story - happy or not.

Lynette looks over at Eileen, too. Frankly, she'd never heard the woman died in the first place, so she's really out of the loop. "I do love a good intrigue," she comments, her arms folding loosely as she smirks just a little.

Abby looks like she swallowed a mouthful of something real bitter, the way her lips press together and the curve of her nostrils just flare at Eileen’s confession that she didn't quite tell the whole truth. "How right was I, Eileen?" Some here might not know what Abigail means by that. Elbows on the table, leaning in on the table and focused on the other woman. "Two postcogs and being told that I was putting two and two together and being told it was nothing, how close was I? Central Park was here, wasn't it?"

Abigail's accusation is almost enough to make Eileen back off from her ginger circling of the issue. There's some hurt in her expression, probably expected, but it's fleeting, and when she feels the muscles in her face starting to do things that she doesn't like, she twists her mouth into something more sardonic. Her cheekbones make things look crueler than she likely intends. "I killed Dr. Price," she says, "because she attacked me on my way to the rendezvous point. It would have been me instead of her if she hadn't taken the time to confess to poisoning me.

"I have no evidence that she and Ball were working together, or that she was motivated by anything other than jealousy because we were involved with the same man. I also couldn't tell you why she's alive, but if we're going to make a decision then let it be an informed one."

Silence as others speak, and as Eileen finally provides details, eyes resting on her face with calm study. Her fingers are flat on the table next to shed gloves when the sharing has ended, and for some seconds after Cat's silence remains. When she breaks it, the voice is dry and quiet, laced with hints of venom.

"How pathetic," she remarks, "for one woman to try killing another over a man choosing someone else. Or over a woman choosing someone else, for that matter. One would think, given all we've seen and the things she's survived, Odessa would have some basic dignity and hold herself above such pettiness." A pause is taken there, gaze moving away from Eileen briefly, only to return when she speaks again.

"I owe you apology, Eileen, for not having pressed further when we met with Rupert and I could tell you were ill." Then her eyes travel to a wall during another silence, the face showing a measure of scowl.

"I don't believe we could ever again trust Odessa, that she would try to murder a sister over something so trivial when there are so many larger issues which should bind us together and prevent such acts is anathema. As for her links to Melissa, I intend to speak with Miss Pierce frankly and lay the whole story out, give her the other side of what she's probably been told. After that, her decisions are her own. Regarding Susan, now, I still haven't heard everything that was ongoing and suspected." That scowl darkens some when she lapses again to brief silence.

"As for Odessa, I recommend if the opportunity and need to kill her again arises, measures should be taken to ensure there's no body for anyone to revive. She had been given the benefit of the doubt and past actions left aside in light of beneficial actions, only to poison one of our own."

"Oh for goodness sake. I know we're desperate for help, but not that desperate," Lynette says, a hand moving to her hip. This is, apparently, her whole take on the matter of Odessa.

"Somehow this went from showing you guys the note so you know that she's alive and well and inquiring about Susan so that Mel can be told to stay away or say nothing to Cat wanting to murder the woman." She'll forgive Eileen, for not telling anyone that she was poisoned by Odessa or that she killed Odessa.

"We're not going to sit here and condone murder or set out to purposefully try to obliterate her from the face of the earth, Catherine. We're the Ferry, not murders 'r' us and no, you're likely not to hear everything that came about regarding Susan because no one knows the whole story. I'm starting to regret having even brought this to the council."

Abigail gives off a soft huff, leaning back in her seat. "Besides, Odessa's not exactly possessing all her faculties at any given time, nor the most stable stick of TNT in the whole box. Lord will see fit to her getting what's coming to her when he sees fit and any of us sending her heavenward to have a sit down with the Lord Almighty any sooner than she's intended to…" Abigail folds her arms, glowering and warm.

"No apology necessary," Eileen assures Cat. "If I'd wanted you to know, I'd have told you. And Abigail." Her magpie steers a look toward the blonde-now-brunette as if to emphasize what the woman is saying, but its attention flicks back to the goshawk again before she has the opportunity to drive her point home with anything more than the gentle click of her cane touching the floor.

"I don't think it's quite that clear cut of a situation, either. She's the only contact we have inside the Institute with ready access to information that can keep us one step ahead of Broome, and I suppose Cardinal now as well. I'm not saying that we shouldn't scrutinize what she's willing to give Melissa, but it would be foolish of us to pass up this opportunity." Which means she probably sides with Abby on the whole not-killing-Odessa thing, though the other woman's plaintive insistence that they aren't murderers earns her a lift of one eyebrow and a quiet, "It's not a nice fall off that high horse."

"It's a repeating pattern," Cat replies in quiet words in response to Abby, "where she shows lack of judgment. Previous things were overlooked, she came through in the end. But her actions against you, Eileen, how can that not be the final straw in dealing with her? If we deal with her in any way, we only allow her another chance to stab us in the back and by poisoning you, trying to kill you, she's proven she'll take it. I do not believe she's our only person inside the Institute. Whether or not that can provide the same quality of information does remain to be seen, but time will tell."

She doesn't seem enraged, the only indicator of how deeply she feels all of this is in the eyes as they move around. What would anyone expect of her, this woman who never forgets, in light of what's been revealed and Odessa's list of actions it tacks on to?

"I'll look up my far cleaner contact and see how deep she's gotten," Cat states, just before she turns her head to look at a wall with memories surfacing. Fingers clench as she works to drive them out of her mind, to stop the images of Odessa and Ethan inside her apartment at Dorchester as she was falling, followed by a woman's face and all the blood, the screaming, as a thumb is amputated. Her seat is abandoned, she chooses to show the others her back so they won't see her face while this effort is ongoing.

"I don't know about killing anyone," Barbara says quietly, finally breaking her silence, "but I do have to admit I'm not entirely comfortable working with someone so- checkered. Particularly not someone now affiliated with the Institute." Not that everyone here is squeaky clean - none of them are, really. But at least as far as Barbara's heard, no one here has actively tried to kill each other in the past, intentionally or otherwise.

She looks off to the side, thoughtful and distracted as she ponders for a moment. "I say we see what Cat's contact is up to first before we resort to tapping someone as unpredictable as Doctor Price seems to be." She lets a bit of a sigh, shoulders slouching a bit. "But if we have to, we have to. We can't afford squander any resources at the moment, can we?"

"I'm with Barbara on this one. We're not assassins, we don't need to go around killing anyone, but this is the kind of help that feels like it's just waiting to stab us in the back. We have no way of knowing her motivations for being so willing to help now or when those motivations will shift away from our favor," Lynette says, her head shaking. "Call me paranoid, but I don't want to deal with someone who has as much possibility to be lining us all up for them as she does in wanting to help us. Unless she's the only possibility. I'd rather explore others first."

"I love you too, Eileen," Abby quietly snaps back really wishing she hadn't brought the note up. Just ignored it and tossed it in the trash. "I'll leave whatever you decide to do with Odessa up to the lot of you, I'll meet y'all at the boat, I need to go pick up something while I'm here and see a man about a Christmas present." She's heaving herself out of her chair, grabbing her jacket and her bag, and while Cat may just show her back to everyone, the medic is heading for the door. “See you back at the boats, I'll send a message if I can't make it." She's going to go melt some snow.

Eileen — or, more accurately, Eileen's magpie — watches Abigail go. One of the benefits of being on the council is that they all have other people to lean on. Unfortunately, this also means that in times of tension and strife, leaning sometimes turns to pushing and shoving.

She does not try to stop Abigail when she moves to go or call out in the same bleating voice Bennet had used with his daughter, but there's a certain sort of sadness in the way the magpie turns its head, tracking her progress across the room in spite of the goshawk, which has begun to hiss again.

A minute or so after Abby makes her departure, Cat has seemingly won her battle with composure and is returning to her seat. She looks poised as ever, but in her eyes there's a haunted quality which suggests the entire subject of Odessa and the disclosure has dredged up things she keeps chained down and rarely lets anyone see even a hint of. In so doing, she hopes the topic has been concluded. Fingers come to rest flat on the table next to the shed thick gloves.

With what felt like building tension slowly dissipating, Barbara lets a small smile return to her face. She retakes her seat, hands slipping into her pockets as she tries to once again look more relaxed. "Who is your contact, Cat? If you don't mind me asking." Since, after all, if they're judging against using Odessa as an asset, knowing who the other choice is would be a comforting fact to know.

Lynette watches Abby go, too, but when she's gone, she turns back to the others, apparently without an opinion on the woman's departure. She looks back over to Barbara, whose question gets a nod. "Pooling our resources is a good idea just now. Maybe we can speak with Elisabeth and see if they have anyone in there, too. I'm fairly certain Messiah doesn't…"

"If they don't," Eileen suggests, "then maybe Jones can have it arranged. That's one of his goals, isn't it? To put his people in positions where they can assist our cause?"

"Elisabeth knows my contact, as does Richard Cardinal," Cat answers, "she was a Company agent who saw where things were headed several months before the collapse, and had no love for the Institute. She decided just the same to gain their favor and infiltrate undercover." Her eyes shift over to Barbara, as she adds "You saw her once, though not for long. She was at the art gallery that day. Veronica Sawyer."

It takes a moment before recollection crosses Barbara, and her face lights up a bit. "Aaaah, I think I recall the woman you're talking about. She was only there briefly, yes?" Barbara slouches back a bit in her seat, foot tapping as she thinks. "I think it's better to see what she knows first, if it won't compromise her or anything. I'd rather put off turning to Price as much as possible, really." There's a moment before she tilts her head. "Unless we can get someone to talk to both of them seperately. At least once, and see what lines up."

"Veronica Sawyer." The name is repeated with familiarity as Lynette stares at Cat for a moment. "Well, who would have fucking guessed," she says, her tone leaning toward relieved, as is the smile that comes to her face. But she looks over at Eileen then, mood seeming improved somewhat. "Oh yes. He has a crazy idea about Evolved helping each other out. Innovative, I know," she comments, wry amusement in her tone. "And there is the whole anti-Institute mission statement. So there's a very good chance he'll be willing to help out on that front." Her gaze travels back to Cat, though, with a crooked smile. "Catherine, I do believe I'm going to take you for a cup of coffee."

Lynette's assertion provides their meeting with closure, and under different circumstances the relief in the room would be palpable, but Bennet is gone, Abigail gone, and the others already on their way out. Eileen moves to follow, glass tinkling, crunching under her boots, but pauses, waiting until the others have left the room before directing the magpie to angle one last glance over her shoulder at the goshawk, but by the time she does it's already gone.

Her cane clicks forward a moment later, gloved fingertips skim along the edge of the table and Eileen hastens to catch up with her fellow council members in the stairwell.

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