Cry Havoc


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Scene Title Cry Havoc
Synopsis While Howard and Lene are preparing for what might be their final missions, Liette arrives with dire news.
Date November 1, 2011

Bannerman's Castle

The courtyard near the entrance of Bannerman Castle has become a refugee town in the intervening months. Tents litter the open space along with small fires and the susurrus of voices both big and small. Atop the crumbling walls of the castle, birds of all number are perched. White droppings adorn most stationary structures in the castle, an ever-present reminder of this place's keeper. In the beginning of November, the old castle is dreadfully cold. Bannerman was never meant to be inhabited long-term, and while the summer proved to be a comfortable time here, as the temperature drops the reminder that this was an emergency fallback location was never clearer.

Not far from the stairs leading up from the castle entrance, Jolene Chevalier and Howard Phillips sit around a fire contained in an old metal trash bin. The flames barely lick up out of the top, and Jolene — more so than Howard — is huddled around the fire. She warms her hands in the golden glow, looking askance to the shirtless young man with her brows pinched together. Howard has his jacket off, a finger poking through a bullet hole in the back, which is now stained dark with blood. "She said she brought me back," Howard murmurs, distance in his eyes, shock now fully set in. Lene reaches out with one fire-warmed hand and rests it on his wrist, squeezing gently.

"We're two peas in a pod," Lene says in soft reassurance. "I'm — lucky. Lucky you're ok, lucky she came alone." At that, Jolene angles a green-eyed stare over towards a much younger woman talking with a few Ferry operatives. A mop-like girl with a tangled mane of poorly-dyed blonde hair and a fashion sense that's somewhere between dumpster-dive and Goodwill raid. Looking back to Howard, Lene squeezes his wrist again and then relents, resting her elbows on her knees. Her hands angle back toward the fire, warming slowly.

"I've… I've gotta rescue her," Howard quietly offers, looking down at his jacket. "She's — she's my mum." That last bit is exhaled in a strangled tone. He'd just come to terms with accepting her back, with trying to make her life better at the sake of his own, and now she's where he is supposed to be and everything is wrong. Making a noise in the back of her throat, Lene scoots down to sit closer to Howard, sweeping an arm around his shoulders against his meager protests to the contrary.

Resting her head on his shoulder, Lene closes her eyes and squeezes Howard tightly. "We're gonna have that chance. My mom an' I are going to go up to Mass, you'll be with the Bejnamin Ryans. It'll work out, trust me." Jolene looks up to Howard, and he eyes her side-long, trying to hide the fact that he's holding back tears. "For as prickly as you are, you're the softest of us all." Jolene opines, and when Howard opens his mouth to protest, she gently knocks her forehead against his jaw. "It's a compliment."

The tender moment is cut short by a high-pitched scream that rises up from behind Jolene and Howard. Jolene bolts up at the sound and Howard is right behind her. Four refugees are already converging on the source of the noise — Liette Fournier — writhing on the ground screaming and clutching her head. Both young time-travelers vault over the bench they were seated on and hurry to the girl's side. One of the refugees who was closest when it happened stammers in a panicky voice. "She— she was just talking to Charles, a-asking about— about something I— she just fell over!" Jolene takes a knee by Liette's side, pressing a hand to her shoulder and trying to see if she's wounded.

Howard stands behind Lene, scanning the courtyard, looking for anyone who could have done this. Liette manages a piteous scream, "Julie!" No one understands what she's saying, why she's screaming. Lene finishes her cursory search and sees no visible wounds, offering Howard a pleading and helpless stare. Others are coming now, hurrying from nearby fires. After a few moments, Liette's screaming dies down and the girl is breathing in panicked, labored gasps. Sweat slicks her brow and she looks very suddenly sick.

"Liette, what— what's wrong?" Howard asks, taking a knee by her side. She doesn't hear him at first. "Kid, c'mon, you ok?" Liette swallows, dryly, and reaches up to grab at the hem of Howard's jeans.

"They— they hurt my sister," Liette splutters the words out, tears welling up in her eyes. "They cut us off," comes like the keening whine of an injured animal. Lene looks up, wide-eyed and worried then rises to her feet. She places a hand on Howard's shoulder, urgently.

"I'm— I'm going to get mom. Stay— stay here with her until I get back!" Jolene turns, hurrying off through the crowd of gathering onlookers. Liette lays there on the cold stone floor, hands covering her eyes, sobbing raggedly and helplessly. For the first time in months, she can't feel Julie's presence. The last time this happened, her sister nearly died. Things are so much worse now than they were then.

And it's only going to get worse.

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