Course Correction Mid Stream


elisabeth_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title Course Correction Mid-Stream
Synopsis She was planning on evacuating them… but a new avenue has opened.
Date October 3, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

It is perhaps a good thing that Ygraine herself cannot see the masterpiece that covers her back; constant reminders of Xiulan's draconic creation might well put her off from attempting her markedly more humble artistic efforts. As it is, the red and white dragons are on display to anyone entering the room she shares with Liz, the Briton relaxing in one of her cooler tops after a subterranean training-run. Now, she's sitting cross-legged on her sleeping bag, bent over the hardbacked sketchbook in her lap as she attempts to get some of the more striking images of the hidden underworld from her mind onto the page.

Despite Ygraine's attire, it's not exactly warm just now. Although admittedly, it's warmer than it could be. The fall colors are just starting to show in Central Park. Elisabeth, however, tends to run cold lately — she's wearing a scruffy pair of jeans and a tanktop with a fleece thrown over her. Her hair is caught back into a long braid, where the multi-colored strands make interesting patterns through the weave of it. She pauses in the doorway of their room, studying Xiulan's work on Yg's back.

Finally she says, "Ygraine. I need to talk to you for a minute." The subtle hum that almost always surrounds her these days… seems mostly absent. Which might seem strange, unless you know her well enough to know that whatever she's been thinking about for the past few days, she's come to some kind of peace with.

Ygraine is likely to cover up again pretty soon, herself… but she does tend to revel in (comparatively) fresh air on her clean-again skin after emerging from the netherworld. New York's myriad tunnels and subterranean chambers provide her with an unparalleled and largely-private gymnasium in which to exercise both body and powers - but they do tend to smell rather bad, and are all too often filled with dust when they're not dripping with dank water.

Looking around over a shoulder, she offers Liz an uncomplicatedly warm smile of welcome. "I didn't feel you arrive," she notes, sounding gently pleased. "And sure. Should we go and grab a drink from downstairs, or is this just for the two of us?" Either way, she flips open her precious polished-wood box of pencils, carefully setting the one she was using into its proper place.

Elisabeth nods slightly and says, "I'll fill the others in later. They're out right now." She pauses. "I got word from Ryans. Things are getting worse, and they want to know if we'll go all-in with them on a raid on Ezekiel." There's an edge to her voice that Ygraine hasn't heard yet — pure, unadulterated rage. "I've told them that I'm all-in regardless of what the rest of you choose… but I wanted to offer you the option to go ahead and still get out. Ezekiel has to die. I can't leave until it's done… or I die trying."

Rage without any thrum? Ygraine's expression reveals thoughtful interest as Elisabeth talks. Then she nods pensively. Looking away only for the moment required to carefully close her book and set it aside, she then leans over to her bag to tug out a sweatshirt. Holding that in one hand, she rises smoothly to her feet, turning to move closer to her friend. "Why is a shot at his life worth risking your own?" From her, the quietly-voiced query is a genuine invitation to explain, rather than an attempt to get Liz to change her mind. "Would killing him fix… enough?"

Blue eyes meet Ygraine's and Elisabeth … it's a subtle change in outward demeanor. But unlike for the past couple of months, where she's clearly been lost, there is now purpose. The Brit's experiences of Liz have varied, but the woman in front of her right now? It's the woman who ran FRONTLINE, driven and focused. "I don't know," she admits softly. "But it's the only play we've all got left. *Fourteen* of our kids came back from a future that *must* not come to pass. I didn't think they'd act. I don't have enough people to act on our own… and I didn't think that the footage that we have would be enough to turn the tide at this point. But if they're willing to fight? So am I. If my life offers a better future? That's worth it, to me."

She doesnt' flinch from Ygraine's regard. It's not that she has a death wish — that much is clear. The despair that has been so prevalent is no longer visible, though the hint of grief in her eyes still lingers. Elisabeth is simply… content. She's never dealt well with uncertainty, she's always needed a path in front of her. Give her two choices, and she'll kick in the door. It was a very appropriate assessment of her personality.

Ygraine brings up her free hand to take gentle hold of Elisabeth's shoulder. "I'll oppose it if it's a dumb suicide mission," she cautions - lips quirking into a sorrow-tinged wry little smile. "But if you think I can help… count me in. With you or elsewhere. I'm no special-forces bad-ass… but I've been training with one for months. And if you can get your hands on that armour you talked of, I might even be able to look the part." She ventures a wink, hoping that it comes across as encouragingly supportive rather than flippant. "But I'm with you. Running to Oz… I admit that the only real appeal of that for me was you guys. If you think we have a shot at making a real difference, then, well… consider yourself better off to the tune of one lunatic wall-crawler."

Elisabeth's smile is sly. "So… I've been sitting on some of that information for a couple of months now. But Jaiden and I retrieved the armor in August. We have a total of five exo-suits — mine and Felix's from when we ran. They were never retrieved, so when I checked on them, I took them and disabled all the GPS stuff. No helmets, but hey… can't have everything. We have three *with* helmets that Warren created from the Horizon template. And a couple of vests made out of the same liquid metal. A lunatic wall-crawler may come in REALLY handy. Plus there are a number of bad-asses in the Ferry."

The blonde's blue-eyed gaze is clear for the first time in a long while. "I can't promise we'll win, Ygraine. But I *can* tell you I'm willing to go down fighting." She needed this.

Ygraine squeezes more firmly. "You mentioned that you and Felix had managed to hide yours," she says with a smile. "But the last I heard about progress with the armour was the, ahh, 'underwear incident'." That smile broadens into a momentary grin, before she nods and takes a deep breath. "I'm… a serious bad-ass, in close-quarters combat, thanks to my ability" she says softly, and quite seriously. "And there's Conrad's old horrific idea I've never dared test in case it actually works. I've come through firefights and a literal inferno, and I can provide tactical options that no one else I've come across can. I'd guess that last might be the most valuable. I can take groups of people into places and onto surfaces no one's likely to check. Just don't expect me to hit what I am at if you give me a gun. But if you want me, then, well. Yeah. I've got your back. Or your feet stuck to the underside of a bridge, or whatever you need."

At the reminder of the UNDERWEAR…. dear God. Elisabeth actually blushes. That was not a conversation she ever expected to have, and it brings a pang to her heart even as she laughs. "Yeeeeaaaahhhh…. let's not rehash that one, okay?" she asks, shaking her head.

"I'll let you know when Ryans wants to meet up. I think you'll be good for the strat meeting." Blowing out a slow breath, Elisabeth debates whether to put word out to a couple of other people too. "Going to have to think about whether to send a message to JJ and Emerson about all this. I don't want to compromise them."

She hesitates and then looks curious. "What was Conrad's idea?" Liz's affection for the man is clear in her tone — he always had the most radical ones.

Ygraine looks guiltily apologetic… then shows surprise that shifts into clear proof that she's flattered to be thought of by a former(?) tactical commander as good for a strategy meeting. Nodding sympathetically, she squeezes Liz's shoulder again. "That… yeah. The more help we can get… but… damn. Tough call. And… ahhh. It's…." Ygraine sighs, withdrawing her hand as she looks evidently uncomfortable. "I think I've mentioned it before?"

A deep breath, and she takes a couple of moments to hide and think as she steps back and struggles into her sweatshirt. Settling it into place, she shrugs awkwardly. "I can link you and your clothes to, say, that wall, if you're close enough to it and I'm close enough to you. Or I could take one of my pencils, and link it to you. Or the wall. Or whatever else. So far, so simple, right? But what I'm doing, so far as I've ever been able to tell, is rerouting gravity. All gravity that affects that pencil would now pull it towards you. Nothing towards the ground. The Earth and sun themselves would be pulling the pencil towards you. I could lift it off you, let go, and it'd 'drop' through the air towards you, not deviating towards the ground at all."

"So… the horrible idea's an inverse mass-driver. The details get complex, depending on time of day and so on. And I don't even know if it's possible to maintain a closed loop with my power… but, well. The idea's simple. I link the pencil to you. And you to the pencil. All gravity affecting you henceforth does nothing but hold the two of you together. It's occasionally suggested by people as a way for me to make things 'float' - but that's based on the misconception that the Earth is stationary and stable and that we're stationary and stable on its surface."

Ygraine takes a deep breath. "It's not and we're not. The Earth's actually moving on a curved orbit through space at tens of thousands of miles an hour. And if I could create a closed loop, then the items in that loop would be cut free from their tether to the Earth. The only thing holding them in place would be air pressure. So if it's possible, I could potentially, say, fire a motorcycle through a skyscraper. Or launch someone into outer space."

That's…… way more physics than a former music teacher and cop can manage. Ygraine can practically *see* Elisabeth's confusion. But as she struggles to wrap her head around it, she wonders aloud, "Why…. would you even do that?" Then she quirks a brow at Ygraine. "Never mind," she says. "This is Conrad we're discussing — it would have just looked cool." You can hear the eyes rolling in her amused tone. "That man," she snorts softly.

All of that said, it's not a USELESS thought… it's just not one Elisabeth seems to think viable. "I'm thinking your brain is what we need more than your powers, m'dear. So… let's leave Conrad's experiments in gravity manipulation out of this," she suggests, still looking amused. She might have loved that man.

"I at least half-hope that it can't work," Ygraine mutters. "But, well. If you ever find yourself with a Hollywood nuke counting down its last 30 seconds before it takes out half a State… I might, theoretically, be able to get it into outer space - or burnt up in the atmosphere - before it blows. If the time of day's right, that is. Conrad's first idea was for me to 'just' affect all the air above someone's head, between them and space, so that they'd get sucked off the planet and into orbit by a sudden vacuum. He was… scary, in his ideas. But…." A slight shake of her head, her eyes tearing up a little and her voice tightening markedly as she continues. "I listened to him die. Myself and one of the Brians were with him at ConEd. That was the first time I came face-to-barrel with a tank. Jumped off a collapsing building to save Brian. Then heard Conrad die as he brought it all down on top of him, to make sure the virus couldn't be released. I heard him say 'Groovy', as his last word."

Elisabeth just shakes her head at the first part of what Ygraine says, and then … she's surprised when she has to turn away. Her heart aches as Ygraine speaks of ConEd, and she finds herself suddenly struggling with a sadness that she hasn't really felt in a while — she's had so much other horrible stuff happen, who would have thought that he memory of Conrad coming from the last person to hear him alive would still hurt like that?

"He died the way he wanted to, Ygraine," Elisabeth tells the Brit quietly. "All he really seemed to want was to help out where he could. And he was always fascinated by how his powers worked. He taught me mine." She swallows hard. "He was an amazing guy, really."

The heartache is manifest only in the expression on her face — it's not the same kind of grief that she has been feeling these last months, but she tells Ygraine softly, "I think Conrad is one of the reasons I was drawn to Richard initially. They had a lot in common. Thieves. Guys who say 'fuck you' to the establishment. Straight shooters willing to call me on my bullshit. And men… who could see me. Flaws and all."

"Conrad was a jerk," Ygraine says - albeit with a lop-sidedly fond (and sad) smile. "No respect for personal space or boundaries. Crazy, scary ideas for how I could use my abilities to instantly assassinate people. Secretive. Rude. And… someone I now think was deliberately trying to keep us team-mates on the mission at arm's length, so that we had no chance to stop him from doing what he already thought he'd have to. I've never had my opinion of someone so quickly and fundamentally changed. I… really, truly admire him. And wish I'd had the chance to get to know him."

Elisabeth laughs softly. "He was *all* of those things," she agrees. "And one of the best men I've ever known." Much like the one she ultimately fell in love with. "Anyway… I wanted you to know what I've got up my sleeve. I couldn't find a way to make ANY of what I wanted to do work. I think it's too late in the game to attempt to put the robot videos out — I don't think they'll help us now. But … this? This I feel like I can do. And it's good to know that you'll stay. I'll brief the others as soon as we can pull them together." She grins at her roommate. "Thank you, Ygraine."

Ygraine steps in for a quick, tight hug. "I've got your back, as best I can," she quietly affirms. "And… I think that all our weapons can still have a role to play. Videos and all. If we can start to turn the tide, then, well… those can help to keep it going. You've done a lot, Liz. You know what a mess I was in, when you took me in. And you've built a family - and a damned dangerous one, at that - out of us misfits and strays. I have faith in you not just because you're a dear friend, but because you're good at this. So, ahh, yeah." She shrugs and grins sheepishly, then raises one fist. "Go Liz, eh?"

The blonde just laughs and fistbumps Ygraine. "You're a nut." But Elisabeth is touched… because these people *are* her family. Not all of it is here and safe. But this is a lot of it. And then she slips out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License