Concentrate On The Moment


elisabeth_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif trask_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Concentrate On The Moment
Synopsis The aftershocks are still hitting.
Date Apr 4, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

She isn't awake when it starts. Elisabeth is sleeping in one of the interior rooms, the door securely shut, wrapped in an arctic-rated sleeping bag that was one of the stored ones in the safehouse. There's a flashlight on the floor, an LED one, that has been on all night, but that has no bearing on how it all begins.

That I was open with you is what ruined things for us. I told you too much, and in the end you're the one who tried so hard to stop me. If it's any consolation… you succeeded.

It isn't so easy to say you're in the business of murdering futures… when it's your own. … When it's your son's future.

Elisabeth's heartrate picks up even as she rolls over restlessly in the sleeping bag, a sound of distress escaping her into the room.

You threw away everything I've been doing. You didn't even ask.

Her head tosses back the other way, her pillow already shoved away from where her head rested.

I thought you were… on board with what we were doing. I thought you understood how we had to do this…

Elisabeth's soft sound of distress is piercing, and accompanied by rippling bass sound waves rolling through the safehouse.

Of all the people I thought would destroy what we were working on, Liz, I never thought that it'd be you.

The sound waves makes the floor creak. The walls tremble under the assault of subsonics. Old drywall cracks and dusts the floors with powder.

There's the click-click of something mechanical just above Elisabeth, and a glance shows the spider-like little robotic camera that crawls up the side of the stop's shelter, perhaps five inches in diameter.

Tears streak the blonde's cheeks in her sleep.

Casting darting shadows upon the city, three great, winged machines zoom blackly through the sky, cutting too close for comfort and seeming to make the entire world vibrate.

Adrenaline spikes through her body, sending the hum ratcheting into the audible levels. It's like a deep thrum of sound that carries away from her body to the people nearby.

The sight of missiles as thin as pins at this distance. The impact of an explosion on the horizon blooms fire in the distance.

Only now does she haul awake, bolting upright with a scream that — thank God — doesn't have the resonance factor attached. Elisabeth's power is already shunted into the subsonics that are rattling the room in a mini earthquake. That one scream is piercing, and it's cut off by the fact that she can't breathe. Full-fledged panic attack already in progress and she can't suck in enough air to finish the sound.

Trask is in the next room over, also asleep in his sleeping bag…but the soft hum of the sub sonics rattling the building awakens, it takes him a moment to realize what is going on, then he remembers Liz is here, and realizes she must be having a nightmare. He rises, already dressed he slips into her room, checking on her, carefully moving toward her waiting for the moment the sound just stops as he gets to close. He watches her face to make sure she is not in to much pain.

When the door opens, the blonde scrambles backward almost crablike. The pure, undiluted distress is evident in the moments before he gets within his range. Elisabeth's been through so much in the last couple of years. Even as she fights with the sleeping bag to try to retreat from the figure coming at her in the near-darkness, her power ratchets up still higher. And then it's gone. She can't feel the sound anymore. Not quite awake, backed up against the wall now wearing her the pullover she arrived in and her skivvies, her long hair tangled around her…. she cowers from him. Going very still, like a rabbit sighted by a wolf. The only sound in the room now is her ragged breathing. If you don't answer him, I'm going to chop off your foot with an axe. So sweetly crooned in her ear. Elisabeth begins shaking. Hard. And … well, some things that might shock another person maybe won't shock those who've seen torture victims and PTSD. She loses control of her bladder in that corner of the wall. This week has taken a high toll.

Trask kneels down, taking one knee, only a few feet away he says softly, "Liz…Liz it's Norton." He puts one hand out, carefully, trying to be as unthreatening as possible, the palm open as it reaches for her slowly, so as to not surprise her at all.

Curled into the corner of the room, her power negated and the room silent, Elisabeth buries her face in her knees and shakes. Norton Trask's voice is one… from the past. But there is a comfort to it that she still responds to — he has always and ever been safe. It takes her several long moments before she risks peering up out of the tangle of her hair, and then the blonde launches herself into the man's arms, sobbing.

Trask catches her without question, holding her tightly to him, his hand moves to stroke her hair and he lets her bury her face against him, "It's going to be alright…it's all going to be alright, it was just a dream."

A little further away in the building, Ygraine awoke to a nightmare - a tense, thrumming, hum. A sense of menace and tension and fear. She, too, scuttled in response - though in her case it was out of the Arctic-grade bag she brought with her, and up and across a wall, to crouch in one of the upper corners of the room, peering alternately down at the door and across at the window, trying to….

…ah. Safehouse. She's meant to be here. This is a known room. Slow the breathing. Listen. The hum has stopped. And you're being a total bloody freak again, FitzRoy.

Across the wall and down again, and she hastily hauls on breeches and boots - wincing and swearing fluently (though in French, for the first time in days) as she repeatedly prangs her still-puny reknitted bicep. Two pills are fumbled into her mouth with sleep-clumsy fingers, then she collects her taser and sets off to investigate. Odd noises in the night seem likely to have an Elisabeth at their epicentre, after all.

She burrows into his chest. "No. No it's not a dream. It's not," Elisabeth sobs, her hands fisted into his shirt. "They're coming. And I ruined everything. For nothing. The Ferry tried to rescue Demsky and Harkness and they weren't even there! He told me I destroyed everything. All I wanted to do was the right thing. And now it's all gone and the robots are coming and people are dead, soldiers and refugees and Ferry people and they're all on the run and I'm on the run and my dad's furious and Richard hates me and it's too quiet and I can't breathe." The panic is still in full swing.

Trask shhhhhh's softly, "You didn't destroy anything….You tried to help people. You fell for a trap…that doesn't mean that you were wrong. We can't all be perfect all the time." He still holds her, tightly, but gently. "People die…but you didn't kill them. And anyone who blames you is just plain stupid…or hurt and lashing out out of pain. Liz it's going to be ok…trust me…." a few heart beats and then he says, "Robots?"

"Evolved hunters", Ygraine's voice comes from the door, before she steps into the periphery of the LED's dim glow. "They've been using early models in Midtown for some time. But there're more coming. And we knew it was a trap. Well, she did. I was too busy fighting my paranoia to let myself think that when I took the initial bit of bait it'd be a trap. Was determined it wouldn't be. I'd got a chance to save people, after all! But when Liz got personally fed a change to my bit of bait… well. It could only really be a trap for her, to see if she'd let people know and give them some warning about what was happening, or leave them to get in over their heads and try to keep her own cover. Which pretty much confirmed that mine had been a trap, too."

The taser carefully returned to her belt, Ygraine moves closer, sinking smoothly into a crouch - but not reaching for Elisabeth as yet. "But in case they were using live bait… well. We kind of had to try. And Liz didn't think she could take any more, on the inside. So here we are."

Struggling to quell the panic attack, Elisabeth is still fighting to breathe. It's getting a little easier, though her heart is still racing a million miles an hour. She remains silent — Ygraine seems to be doing a good enough job of explaining to let Liz focus on the voices of people she knows are safe. To gain control of terror and the dreams. She keeps her face buried against Norton's chest, though.

Trask raises an eyebrow and nods, he still holds her, his hand stroking her hair like a child, "Robots…really? Don't they know how bad of an idea that is? Has good science fiction taught us nothing?"

"Everyone knows that science fiction is for nerds and losers, while it's the winners and leaders who make policy", Ygraine says dryly. "Christ. You can't even get work as a specialist in resolving conflict. But there're whole industries to exploit and profit from it. It was an American general turned politician who warned of 'the military-industrial complex' and its impact. Why should some silly stories worry anyone, when there's money to be made and order to be kept? Evo terrorists? Fantastic for business! And also for politicians who love power. America responds so very well to a bogeyman. And now there're hidden bogeymen everywhere! You can't trust people, so trust machines! Because glorious Science has all the answers!"

Finally she is able to pull her head up from Norton's shoulder and look toward Ygraine. "Could you…. turn on another light please?" The LED flashlight on the floor is not enough. Not with her power negated. And she's not letting go of Trask for anything. She can't make her fingers unfist from his shirt and she's still trembling in his arms. Sucking in another breath, Elisabeth murmurs softly, "God… I'm so sorry. I can't stay here another night, I don't think. Not until I get this under control. I'll compromise the safehouse this way." She blows out the breath slowly. "I, uhm….. yeah. They had the robots out on Miller Field, from what Ryans said."

Trask shakes his head. "I can sleep a few feet away if it will help, until you can get a handle on things…We can work something out Liz."

Ygraine's belt sports a fair array of pouches at the moment. From one, she withdraws a bulbous, rather chidlish-looking egg-shaped thing. A button is pressed, and the top lights up, casting a pool of light up onto the ceiling, to spill out onto the room. That is set down within Liz's reach. "Some of my crank-powered tech", the Briton says quietly. "If you're worried about it running low, just upend it: the crank's in the base. Just wind it for more power. But it should run for most of a day on that intensity, without any trouble at all."

A slight wiggle of her nose, and Ygraine shoots Liz a rather worriedly sympathetic look. "You could even share a bag with someone, if you wanted", she suggests tentatively. "If it'd help." And getting Liz out of her bag might let the Briton find out quite where that smell is coming from, too.

Elisabeth blushes slightly and murmurs, "We're… uhm…. going to need to find a way to run some laundry." She is brutally embarrassed. "I, uhm…." She catches her lower lip between her teeth, her face flushing beet red. Blowing out another breath, she shakes her head vehemently. "No one can sleep near me. When it's this bad, Richar…." she trails off, wincing. Looking up at Norton. Christ, she doesn't want to hurt this man who was her best friend for years … and her lover as well.

Trask says, "No one can sleep near you because your power will hurt them when it's uncontrolled, right?" He looks at her, "Oh my god…I could die if I am too near you when your power goes out of control….wait" He cocks his head…"What power?" He smiles softly, "Liz….everything happens for a reason, maybe there is a reason I came back right now….""

Well, a blush is better than simple helpless fear, at least. Ygraine ventures a gentle smile. "I bled on Robyn, never mind… well." She glances away, gaze darkening for a moment, then hauls her thoughts back to the present and nods. "Laundry, we can manage. If need be, I can tell someone who can do a delivery for us - or who can meet me underground somewhere - where to buy a hand-powered portable washing machine. They make them for camping, and we could do with one here. But if you want both of us here, we can be here. If you want someone to hold onto, we can provide that. If you'd rather have a pillow to hug, you can have mine. We'll help, Liz, if we possibly can."

The blonde is finally calming enough that her hand is loosening in Norton's shirt. "God…. I'm sorry, guys. I didn't realize it would be this bad." Elisabeth grimaces. "We'll … just have to play by ear. I don't want to stay in one place too long. Not right now." She lays her head back down on Norton's shoulder, the tears now slowed to a mere shimmer. She thumps him lightly. "You're being a sarcastic ass. I missed that," she admits to him. She's quiet a long moment and then murmurs, "I believed Zeke when he said you never came back. I still believe that. Because Richard …. doesn't invoke your name. Not ever. You're the one person he's jealous of." She hurts so much. "He's so mad, Norton. What I did…. choosing to take the bait and scuttle my life. It might have destroyed everything we've been working on for years."

Trask shakes his head, "If Richard is mad about it..then Zeke is mad about it to. Tell me what you can do that makes Zeke mad and isn't a good thing?" He smiles softly, "From what you are telling me, it sounds like being unpredictible, unexpected, and unconventional is going to be our only useable tactic in this war.

"And if you'd destroyed everything that had been built, we wouldn't have anywhere to be right now", Ygraine points out quietly, nodding agreement to Trask. "We're changing the future. That means that we ourselves are making obsolete the information on which the original plans were based. Ezekiel will be adpating his plans, too - we have to adapt ours, don't we?"

That brings Elisabeth up short. She hadn't thought of that. In scuttling her life oh-so-publicly …. Ezekiel's machinations have to scuttle too. Because…. it means the Endgame people are going to scatter. He's not going to know where to find people like Elle, who he wants for her power. None of this happened in his timeline. "I was dead," she tells him softly. "That is what I've been trying to tell Richard all along. I was dead in Zeke's future during this time period. I was killed on November 8th in the riots. So everything I do now has the potential to change it all up. Everyone I have contact with… all the things I'm doing personally or deciding on." She suddenly lights up and laughs a little. "That is what I didn't have words for. Richard's been so damn busy in trying to outthink himself, he's not thinking — both versions just want me safe. But…. I'm one of the wild cards. It's my actions, if anything Zeke says can be believed, that thwarted him in the end in the future. And maybe… just maybe… something I can do in the here and now will be what helps thwart it all now." She bites her lip. "Or… I guess I could just keep making it worse." She laughs softly. "But I don't think it gets a lot worse than the Terminator crossed with Big Brother."

Trask nods, "See….Where there is life there is hope…and there is time for us to handle all of this and deal with it, adapt and survive." He smiles softly.

Ygraine snorts softly. "Oh, it could always be worse. Set fire to them, and make them zombie cyborgs. Or something", she assures Liz, before adding a wink. "But… don't let yourself wind up like me. Just because you can't be certain that it was the right thing to do doesn't mean that it was the wrong one. We've all done our best. That's why we're here. Easy options would have taken us elsewhere. But we are here, we've got the chance to work together, and we're still in the game. Neither HomeSec nor Ezekiel have put us out of action. And that means that we're ahead of where we 'should' be. Ahead by a big margin."

"That's not funny," Elisabeth observes. "Zombies is how I blew out my ability last time, remember?" She grins just a little. "Keep that faith, Ygraine. With Richard this pissed off at me? We're going to need it. And we're going to need it to keep Endgame from splitting as a group, too — because …. he has a tendency to make it 'if you're not with me, you're against me.' And I don't want all of you guys tugged between Mom and Dad in a custody battle, if you get my drift." She sighs heavily, moving to push out of Norton's arms with a gentle hug. "I'd… appreciate it if you stuck close for a few more minutes," she murmurs. "I'm not sure yet that I'll have full control." But the light is helping. "I, uhm… I need to change my clothes, though." There's a faint blush. Losing control of one's bladder is … sort of embarrassing. As she clambers to her feet, she does flash the ink on her lower left hip to both of them. The Celtic knot at the center of an equal-armed cross has cursive circling it. The hues are deep and true, a sparkling of silver glitter amid the black and midnight blue. It could only have been done by a chromokinetic. In aeternitatem

Trask smiles and rises as well, he turns his back and looks at the wall. "Not a problem, I can be a gentleman and still stay close. We recently discovered how well I work through walls and even cielings.

"Mmmm. I've got wet wipes with me, if you'd like me to grab those?", Ygraine offers, though her gaze does linger on the previously-unseen decoration. "And another sleeping bag, I think. We can sort out laundry tomorrow."

"Thanks," Elisabeth says gratefully. She glances at Norton with a soft laugh. "It's not anything you haven't seen before, but … I'm sorry. Modesty not so much."

Trask smiles, not that she can see it. "Whether I've seen it before, versus assuming I'm allowed to see it again are two very different things. And you deserve a little privacy if you want it." He hasn't turned around.

Ygraine nods to Liz, pushing herself to her feet (and away from the eye-level view of the tattoo), and padding out into the corridor. "Back in a moment", she assures the pair of them, producing another crank-powered flashlight from her belt to light her way.

"Fair enough," Elisabeth murmurs. She rummages in her duffel bag, coming out with another long-sleeved pullover, underthings, and slacks. While Norton's back is turned and Ygraine's out of the room, she strips off her wet top and replaces it, then she sort of …. gingerly sits on the bare floor til Ygraine comes back with the wet wipes. She's in enough shadow that it's not too big a problem. The small LED flashlight is once again the only light in the room and she's behind it. Elisabeth clears her throat and murmurs, "So… uhm… did I wake everyone in the building with that?" she asks him. She figures not — Claire and Monica and Jaiden didn't come bolting in. But perhaps they were too far away.

Trask says, "Nah…I think I got here quick enough that at least one or two people still slept through it. It wasn't that loud." He studies the wall intently. "And as for nothing I havn't seen before….nice Tattoo….""

Perhaps they were, but in Jaiden's case, perhaps not. Standing guard in an unfamiliar place is something that he doesn't normally do. His bed, for instance, is locked behind several heavy steel doors wired with alarms, so being in a new location with absolutely no knowledge of it, other than being a safe house, doesn't do too much for his peace of mind. So he sits downstairs, in a recliner, with his handgun at the ready. He'll sleep when it's light and someone else can watch the door.

He's walking a perimeter and is at the far end of the house when Lizzie's scream hits, shaking the place subtly. He knows that sensation intimately.

Jaiden heads back toward the large building's second floor, jogging to the room that Liz has claimed as her own, knocking on the doorframe and taking in the group already assembled. "Liz? Liz. You okay?"

Elisabeth looks up as Jaiden hits the open doorway, flushing just a little. "I'm fine, Jaiden." Well… as fine as a woman who gets panic attacks in her sleep can get. "Uhm… have you met Norton Trask yet? Norton… Jaiden Mortlock." She introduces them and slants a faint grin at Norton. "Thanks." The tat comment. That'll come up later, she's sure.

Trask nods to Jaiden and smiles, his back to Liz yet he stands about 5 feet from her.

There's a bit of wariness as Jaiden steps forward, offering Trask a hand to shake. "Good to meet you, mate. Lizzie's told me a little bit about you. All good, I assure, you." There's a bit of a smile, the turning up of a corner of his mouth. "So what brings you to our tiny abode? Things not going as well as they should?"

Trask smiles softly, His voice has a latino lilt to it, "I just got into town after an extended vacation, need a place to crash for a few days, and I heard some of my old sorority sisters were hanging out here."

Preceded by a dim pool of light, Ygraine re-enters the room, peering around Jaiden to check upon Liz, before moving closer, sinking into a crouch before her, dropping a furled sleeping bag to the floor. In her hands, she still holds a foot-long tube of wet-wipes, and a box of paper bathroom hand-towels. "Shall we get one of the big lunks to hold up a blanket as a screen or something? Or shall I do that, and you clean yourself up?", she murmurs, sotto voce. "I want to get you back in the warm quickly, if we can, before you really feel the cold."

Elisabeth blinks between the two men. "What?" she sputters, looking confused. And then Ygraine's back. Thank God. "Uhm… it's fine, if you wouldn't mind doing it." She eyes Norton and moves to stand back in that corner, half naked. She takes the tub of wipes and simply pulls a few out. She wasn't kidding about no modesty. It doesn't bother her to be without her shorts in here with people… what bothers her is the reason she wound up that way. So while Ygraine holds up the wet sleeping back, Lizzie makes fast work of cleaning up and clambering into her skivvies and jeans. "I, uhm…. I had nightmare, Jaiden. Norton pretty much kept me from shaking the place down around our ears," she tells the Australian. "So… as awkward a moment as this may be for all concerned, we're not going to be telling one another lies about things. You're all part of this. We're all in this together. No fibbing or prevaricating. Please."

Trask still hasn't turned around, he is facing Jaiden, back to the half naked ex cop. "Your assuming I'm lieing, Ask Claire about Sorority rush week sometime. Delta-Pi I think was the sorority she was going for. Ask her about the nick name Muffy too…."

"Sorry, you know all about being careful - now more than ever." Jaiden sighs and looks to a corner to give Elisabeth some privacy while she dresses. This, more than likely, will be a common occurrence unless negation drugs or safety is acquired in short order. "Well, I know enough about Elisabeth and her friends that certain things, no matter how improbable, are almost certainly true."

Ygraine laughs, but doesn't look around, instead keeping her gaze on Liz. "Norton is a negator, to tell you something potentially vital, Jaiden. Area of effect about ten feet. We should really experiment with whether he stops the activation of my power, or if he can cancel my charges as well. But for now, that's not really an issue…."

Elisabeth, once fully dressed, takes the sleeping bag from Ygraine's hands and rolls it up. Her expression is a bit abashed. Laundry needs doing. How embarrassing. She clears her throat, "So… now that you've met everyone, I'm… going to ask you to head out into the wide world and see what you can hear, if you don't mind? You're about the only one who can move about easily right now as far as I know. And I need to know how big the manhunt's going to be on me. If there is one."

Trask nods "Sounds Good I will see what I can find out. I might have a contact or to. I have a date with a frontline agent set up later this week…." He whistles as he slips out before Liz can catch him on that one, hey he told her at least….

"Meeting with a frontline agent….great." Jaiden sighs and moves to stand next to Elisabeth, giving her a tight hug. "I was patrolling and heard you scream. I haven't slept yet….wanted to make sure this place was secure for our well being…"

Trask's last comment does succeed in making Ygraine look around rather sharply… then she returns her gaze to Liz, offering her a gentle smile. "He's so annoying at times, isn't he?", she asks fondly.

Wait… what? "What?" Elisabeth gasps. "Norton, wait!" And then the negator pulls one of his disappearing acts and the blonde is left gaping. "Wait…. dammit! Yes, yes he is," she bitches without much heat, shoving a hand through her unruly hair. With the negator's departure, there comes that tremor, the almost inaudible hum that's accompanied her stress levels being sky high for days. "And when he gets back, he's going to explain that little piece of intel, or I'm gonna kick him in the ankle, I swear it." She leans into the arm Jaiden puts around her, regret in her expression. "You should have woken me. I could have taken a watch shift," she says softly. Not as if she was sleeping all that well to start with. She's still holding the wet sleeping bag in both of her arms. She sighs, her head leaning sideways onto Jaiden's shoulder. She'll take the comfort where she can find it right now.

"I'll be sure to hold him down for you, Lizzie." Jaiden's arms go around her, despite the wet sleeping bag, giving her a tight, reassuring hug. "And I know I could have gotten both of you up at some point to take a watch but you…" This is directed to Elisabeth. "needed sleep, and you," This is directed to Ygraine. "needed to sleep too. Me, I had a good night o sleep last night, so I'm fine for a bit."

Ygraine snorts softly, then steps forward. "Gimme that bag. Your new one's by your feet, if you want to get back to sleep", she instructs Elisabeth. "And if you want to have company, then we can find plenty of people to provide you with it."

Elisabeth hands the sleeping bag to Ygraine, clearing her throat. She's embarrassed, but thank goodness the bag is only wet on the inside. "Thanks, Ygraine. I don't think I'm getting back to sleep right now. I just… want to wait until the city's up and bustling. Maybe I can… " She sighs heavily. "I want badly to make contact with people, and I can't. My dad's going to be under surveillance I'd expect. Redbird too. My squad… as far as I know they came out of the fight okay. People are going to be shitting bricks because both Felix and I went like that." She just closes her eyes. "Christ."

Normally Jaiden would usher Elisabeth to a bed, but there isn't one. Nor chair, nor table. The hard floor was her bed and, sadly, it seems that it will be that way for some time - at least until Jaiden has a good scavenge around to see what he can come up with. "You know you can't." Jaiden admonishes softly. "Any contact you make will be found, and tracked, putting us, and more importantly them, into danger." Jaiden keeps hanging on to Elisabeth, giving her the comfort she needs as best he can. "They're probably going to restructure your team - put loyalists in both sections so they have more of a stranglehold."

"Yeah," Elisabeth says quietly. "I know." She sucks in a deep breath and says, "Well…. we're well and truly off the path at this point. Now is when we need to start thinking about how to fuck Humanis First loyalists without becoming the enemy ourselves. I've been giving some thought to going back to a few of the old-school ideas. And I'm probably high profile enough to get YouTube vids to run viral if I'm in them."

"Which might, of course, give the good guys eyes into everything that happens", Ygraine says quietly, carefully furling the bag - not wanting any remaining liquid to escape. "Norton's our best bet for getting news. And if we need conventional eyes-on surveillance, then I believe I'm your best option there. Or me and one or two others. But for simply seeing what's happening out there in society - we're dependent on those who can move freely. For now, however, I should go and hang this up." Somewhere that it can dry, and air, and not have its smell noticed. Hopefully.

Patting Jaiden on the shoulder, she flashes a grin at Liz. "I've been working on some stuff with viral ideas. Might know a couple of people who can help to craft them. But that's a chat for another time, most likely." Raising a hand in farewell, she turns to head out to get rid of the wet sleeping bag.

Fucking Humanis First means exposing their tactics, thereby exposing them, or the more direct and violent method of confrontation. The first is more delicate but ensures survival. The second - not so much, and may require the death of a few people that don't deserve it. Jaiden waves to Ygraine as she heads out, leaning against the wall behind him, still holding Elisabeth against him. "The difference between now and then is now we're making the path. before we were just following it."

Elisabeth lifts her chin to Ygraine in farewell. They'll talk again soon. But she doesn't move from Jaiden's embrace, moving so that she's in front of him and leaned back against his frame, her arms resting atop his. "Yeah. Well…. Once I have a more fully fleshed out plan in my head, maybe we'll be able to make a go of it." She huffs a soft laugh. "Richard always said I sucked at patience. I'm still too much a cop at heart — I want to be out there doing things. And now I've got no choice but to sit quiet and just…. watch the fallout." She leans her head back against him and asks quietly, "Do we have any chance of taking them down?"

Jaiden slides down the wall to a seated position, taking Liz with him, trying to basically have her sitting in his lap instead of standing against the wall. It's a bit more intimate, but all things considered, it's not that unwelcome. "There's always a chance. With planning, care, and a lot of luck…yeah, I think we can. Ygraine is a master at getting things out into the world, either YouTube or through Liberty. She's got contacts on top of contacts. And me? I've got resources not tied up in the garage. We'll have to go get them, of course, but….you ever see the Bourne Identity? I've got a couple of those boxes set up around that I can get. No fake passports or anything, but I do have a few things that we can use."

Elisabeth slides with him, and when she's snugged into the man's lap, the fine low-level hum finally seems to ease away. At least while she's awake, maybe she'll be able to keep control. "We've got a technopath who can upload things to the Internet. I'm sure enough of that. But… I don't know if anyone will listen, Jaiden. I know I'm high profile enough to make a good showing. But will they believe anything that I say?" She keeps her head tilted back against his shoulder. "This is…. Richard's part of stuff. Sorting through the possibilities and stuff."

That must be the Wireless person Elisabeth keeps talking about, or mentioned a couple of times. Jaiden imagines Wireless to be a woman - it would be interesting to meet the person at some point to find out of his premonition is correct. His fingers lift to brush through her hair, a soothing gesture, before he speaks. "We have to try, Lizzie. We can't just sit back and be complacent. A shot has been fired. The fight is going to happen, whether we like it or not. We need to stand up for what we believe and, with god helping those who help themselves, I think we can do it. You were the one who told me to keep my chin up, and now I'm telling you .It looks bleak now, but it will get better." He lets out a soft breath. "You know him better than I do. What would he suggest at this point?"

"Well…. Richard may be pissed at how I went about this, but…. do you want to know what gave us a Bright Future, Jaiden?" Elisabeth turns and looks up at him. "Helena Dean. She was barely an adult and she was imprisoned in Moab with no trial, no lawyer, no nothing. She was a martyr for the cause. It started turning public opinion toward the Evolved. And that, my dear, is what we need now. A martyr." She swallows hard. "I don't know if I'm …. a good enough person to be able to be that for this cause. But I'm sure as hell going to give it a try. I'm hoping it doesn't have to be literal martyrdom, but… if it does… then I will go that far."

"I don't suppose Helena Dean's around to get pinched and sent to Moab again?" This is asked almost jokingly, but with the destruction of Moab and the other hellish things that could happen, it's not something that Jaiden would wish on anyone. "no, no….no martyrdom for you, Lizzie. Right now we concentrate on survival, then we concentrate on hitting the bastards back."

Elisabeth smiles, her expression unutterably weary. "Let me rephrase myself. I don't have a death wish. I don't want to die. I would….. really like to survive to have kids." It's a dream that she's accepted as just that. A dream. One of those things that she is not meant to really have. "If we can put out there some of what I've seen and it goes viral… well… I think I have enough to make them talk. And if they start talking and they start doubting, even a little, because a well-known Evo figure just chucked her WHOLE FUCKING LIFE and is talking about the US government sending her on a suicide mission to ANtarctica and stuff…. things Rebel put out on the Net ages ago…. if they're talking and speculating, then it's attention. And if I draw enough of it…. if Humanis First makes a move on me, it's proving my point, isn't it? Or if the government disappears me to shut me up, it's proving my point for me. And if either of those things happen, well…. you start to see where I'm going with this, right?"

"I see where you're going with this. And it's not just you who threw your life away. You donated it to the cause. It wasn't a worthless, futile gesture. It means something, Lizzie." Jaiden leans against the wall, looking at the corner of the sparse room, dawn starting to glow in the eastern corner of the window.

Elisabeth smiles. "I wasn't making light of your contributions, Jaiden. Or anyone else's. I just…. " Her smile fades and she says quietly, "Norton came back from what we've always called the Bright Future knowing that he was chancing his son never being born." Her tone is melancholy. "And he was right. If that child were going to make it, I would be … pregnant right now or in the next couple of weeks. He was born in February 2012. In the horrible future that Ezekiel came from… my child won't be born for somewhere around 8 years. Because in that world, Richard killed me last November and reanimated me…. a few years from now. My very presence here is one of those ripple effects that… it could be a little ripple. Or… I could make it a fucking tsunami." She pauses and says quietly, "And I'm feeling pretty goddamn vengeful just about now."

"Perhaps what we need is a future that isn't set in stone. One that's neither horrible nor bright. A world that hasn't been made. A future that is unknown to any of us. That's what I think we should go for….the darkness will always be there, the potential for failure, but without that potential we would lose the light that would come from the same choices. Your child, Trask's child…the only constant is that you do have a child. The world that it grows up in? That's up to us, now, and the choices we make now." jaiden seems to be taking the death-and-reanimation story rather well, or at least, he may have just blotted it out because it was too unthinkable. The woman in his arms dead and brought back? No thank you….

Elisabeth nods. "That," she replies in satisfaction. "That's what I want, Jaiden. The chance to just make a world where my kids are not in concentration camps. I don't expect it to be perfect. Nothing is perfect. It's just life. But … decent. You know?"

"I know, Elisabeth. I know. And it's what i'm going to help bring about. I have to believe that my being here was meant to be. All of my experiences, my life, building up to this moment where we turn the world around. Where we poke a hole in the wall and the pressure causes it to crumble." Jaiden gives her a squeeze. "And your kids….no concentration camp due to genetic profilin." Because what if they're his kids….

"Well…. in the horrible future, you weren't here either. You and I both died on November 8th," Elisabeth comments. "So…. seems like we could make a lot of waves." She sighs heavily, her blue eyes drifting closed. The warmth of the man behind her, the comfort of his easy nature and affection, her exhaustion. They all combine to make her blinks longer and longer as they talk. And her eyes drift shut. "I used to wish we could go back and change things. It's a bad idea," she murmurs softly, clearly falling asleep on him. "Only God should know the future."

"I control water - the waves I make go where I want them to." Jaiden's voice is a soft murmur, his breath warm on her ear. His arms encircle her, just over the swells of her chest and squeezes her to him before going slightly limp, still holding her, but relaxed. "Do not dwell in the past - do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment." With that, the man sleeps.

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