Cautious Hope


barbara_icon.gif rue_icon.gif

Scene Title Cautious Hope
Synopsis Barbara Zimmerman seeks out Rue Lancaster to task her with finding one of their own.
Date February 7, 2011

Bannerman's Castle: Infirmary

The infirmary is a paradoxical room in that it sees more use than the people who work and volunteer there would probably like. Unlike the wooden cots in the castle's living quarters, the beds here are made of metal, lightweight and foldable in case furniture needs to be rearranged in the event of an emergency. Strung up sheets provide patients in severe and critical condition with some privacy, even if this privacy is so flimsy that it can easily be stripped away by someone simply lifting the fabric, but most of the cots here are dressed in their linens only and are visible from anywhere in the room.

At the back is a set of double doors that leads into a storage area where additional bedding, medicine and supplies are kept, and these doors are almost always closed and fastened with a heavy padlock to discourage the theft of painkillers and other prescription drugs that the infirmary is in possession of.

The infirmary's low ceiling is outfitted with cheap incandescent lighting and is one of the only rooms in the castle where electricity is available courtesy of its generators.

Barbara Zimmerman has been scarce the last few days, busy making arrangements for the Ferry's newest… special ward, as well as being briefed on the events of the last several days. Frightening and unnerving to say the least, but what she heard of the hanging had her immensely worried for what the next several weeks could bring. It's had her more cautious that usual, a bit on edge when mixed with what she had had to deal with over the weekend.

This is exactly why she's made her way to the infirmary this afternoon, in search of Rue Lancaster.

Rue's been spending a lot of time in the infirmary. Not because she's sick, but because she's afraid she will be. She's had a mask around her face, and claiming she's just being extra careful in her surroundings. The upside to her being a fixture in the area is that the supplies are ridiculously well organised and catalogued. She knows exactly how much they have of everything, and what they're in need of. She's sitting up against a wall with a pad of Hello Kitty stationary against her knees, jotting down a list of things to be secured from the mainland when she spots Barbara's entrance.

Up onto her feet is Rue, straightening a heavy, oversized orange sweater that hangs to the knees of her skinny jeans. "Ms Simms." Mizzimms. "Anything I can help you with?" Ever the eager volunteer, the girl is quick to offer her help however she can to anyone on the council. Though she can't see it behind the white medical mask across her face, Barbara can follow the curve of a smile up to Rue's eyes. Sincere good cheer, in spite of worry that dulls some of the sparkle in those bright blue orbs.

The mask has Barbara slowing her pace a bit, a moment of consideration crossing her. "Are you feeling well, Rue?" the postcog inquires with a quirked eyebrow, arms crossed over her sweatshirt as she approaches. "And Barbara, please! No need to be so formal." She smiles, tennis shoes clopping on the stone floor below. "I was hoping to catch you when you had a moment. You're not busy, are you?" fingers flex for a moment as she moves to the edge of a bed, sitting down on the edge as she look over at the tall redhead.

There's a quick shake of Rue's head, disrupting the lay of ginger curls around her shoulders. "I feel fine. I'm just… being cautious." Her brows come together in a serious expression to indicate that she suspects Barbara knows why she's being cautious. "No, I'm… I'm not busy…" Her head slowly inclines to one side as she tests the name out on her tongue, "Barbara." Not the first time she's used her first name, but it still feels a little foreign to her. She comes to stand against the wall near the bed, bunching her sweater up at one hip to tuck her notepad and pen inside the pocket of her jeans. "What can I do for you?"

Cautious. Barbara gives a bit of a rueful nod, mixed with a grimace. She hasn't heard anything concrete, but she knows enough to have a good idea why Rue is being cautious. "I don't blame you," she says with a bit of a weak smile. "I hope everyone thinks ahead enough to take that sort of initiative. It'll certainly help keep things… clean around here." Her smile widens a bit at the use of her full name, Barbara reaching up and pulling her hat off of her head. "I was wondering if you minded doing a bit of a favour on behalf of the Ferry, back in the city."

Rue cants her head so she can spare a glance to where Hannah Kirby lays sleeping. When her gaze returns to Barbara, it's definitely more troubled than it was moments ago. "Of course. Sure." When she didn't find her apartment ransacked, or military crawling all over her neighbourhood, she reasoned the altercation at the checkpoint on Staten Island wasn't about to come back to haunt her. Maybe it will yet. For now, it leaves her free and clear to run errands to the mainland. "Absolutely. Anything I can do. Just tell me what you need."

"Have you met Kaylee Thatcher?" Barbara looks over towards Hannah as Rue does, grimacing a bit. She had heard about what had happened with the patrol. She was glad to see Hannah here, even if sleeping. "We need someone to get ahold of her, but it's not… exactly the easiest of things to do here, even with communications to the place we have left in the city." The Councilwoman shakes her head, sitting a bit straighter. "But if you could poke around for her… it would be just fantastic. Council is a bit busy with things at the moment, otherwise I would just go myself."

The acquiescence is again swift. "I've seen her around here before. Just point me in the right direction and I'll go looking for her, no problems." Rue crosses her arms over her chest, managing to convey her concern even without the help of the lower half of her face for expression. "I can leave this afternoon. And I'll be back as soon as I find her."

"Well, unfortunately… there in lies part of the problem, I'm not really sure where she is. I can give the names of a few people to speak with, who might be able to help. People we can't quickly get into contact with from here." Barbara nods slowly, looking a bit unhappy at how little she has to share on the matter. "If worst comes to worst, ask one of them to take you by GCT. You have my permission, and there's chance they might have heard from her more recently than anyone else."

"Grand Central?" Rue's brows come up a bit. It obviously never occurred to her that the abandoned subway line would make a good base of operations for the Ferry. It has now. "I'll talk to whoever you need me to, and if I don't find anything from them, I'll head to the terminal." It's obvious she sees it as a last resort. Given her fears, it's not all that surprising that she wouldn't want to step foot into another proper collection of Ferry wards and operatives unless necessary. "What do you need me to tell her? Do you just need me to bring her back here?"

"Have her get in contact with us, before anything else," Barbara replies, another look off towards Hannah. "We'll determine something from there. As for who… we have several operatives on the mainland still. I don't have… any sort of list on me, but I can put one together. Best not to actually take it with you, but I can make sure you have one to look over, if nothing else. There's a good chance at least one of them will have spoken to her."

Rue presses her lips together behind the white of her mask. "Okay. Yeah, that… That makes sense." While generally bubbly, this brand of it is born more of nervous energy than the girl's usual friendliness and chipper moods. "I will not let you down." A look is cast ceilingward. She hopes.

Rising up from her seat, Babara nods at Rue, hands sliding into pockets. "I wouldn't think you would, Rue. You've done good by the Ferry so far. It's really appreciated that you'd do this for us, though." She grins, reaching over and patting the natural redhead on the shoulder. "Is there anything you need before you go? Since you're doing us a favour, I can see what we have if you do."

"I want for nothing," Rue is quick to assure Barbara, that smile touching her eyes again. Returning some of the sparkle. "Write me up a list of who I need to see and where I need to go. I'll memorise it on the boat and destroy it once I get to the mainland." Sooner if she has to. "I'll find her. I won't come back until I do. I'll have my cell phone on me once I have a chance to stop at my apartment. If you need anything, have someone call me."

Rue begins to turn away so she can hurry back to her room and pack what she needs to head off to the mainland as quickly as possible, but then she pauses. "Does…" She pulls the mask away from her face, letting it bunch under her chin as she turns a(n unintentionally) doe-eyed gaze on Barbara. "Does this mean I'm… one of you now?" One of the Ferrymen.

"Rue," Barbara turns to face the woman with a smile as she pauses, laughing for a moment. "From what I've seen and heard you've been doing over the last few weeks? You've been one of us. It's as much of a burden as it is anything else. But if you want to be, I'd say you are, personally."

There's a brilliant smile at that. Belonging, and being accepted, having a place is clearly something the girl's been desperate for. "Thank you, Barbara." Rue pulls the mask back up again, perhaps because she wants to hide just how wide that smile of hers really is. "I'll meet you in the dining hall in an hour? I'll want to fill my Thermos with coffee before I go brave the cold," she chimes. There's a renewed spring to her step, something that's been missing over the past several days, as she heads for the corridor again.

"An hour, then," Barbara replies with a shallow nod, arms crossed as she turns to face where Hannah rests. "Ask the kitchen if they have anything small you can take for food. And thank you again, Rue. It's greatly appreciated." She nods, before taking steps towards Hannah's bed, looking down with a bit of a frown. Hopefully, none of this would take too terribly long. Hopefully, it wasn't too late to prevent any problems from arising.

One can hope, at least. No matter how futile that hope may seem.

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