Dead Telepaths Society


gillian_icon.gif justin_icon.gif lance2_icon.gif squeaks_icon.gif

Scene Title Dead Telepaths Society
Synopsis Lance and Squeaks bring the mysterious journal they found to Gillian in their quest for answers and mission to prove who is innocent and who is guilty.
Date August 12, 2018

Eric Doyle Memorial Children's Library

“I don’t want to bother her at home again,” Lance said, and that’s why they’re at the library. The older teenager pushes open its doors, pausing to hold it open for the younger before strolling inside. The summer heat’s got him in a sleeveless grey shirt and jeans that have a few holes in them, a bottle of water swinging in his free hand as he walks.

“I think she’s working today, anyway,” he admits his uncertainty, glancing back to Squeaks, “Hope this doesn’t upset her.”

Even though Squeaks had said that either place would probably be okay, she did agree that the library might be better. Even if they ended up having to wait until people left, “It’s the library. That’s not even like waiting at all,” she points out as she ducks through the door. She’s in her usual, t-shirt and overalls, though these overalls have seen enough days to be cut off at the knees. She brought the journal from the Tower, too, but it’s tucked away right now, safe inside a pocket.

“She’s here practically every day.” So she believes. If she hadn’t been to Gillian’s house one time before, Squeaks would bet on her living in the library.

If it wasn’t for the fact that she had a cat that demanded attention daily and more privacy at her home (even with extra people hanging around most the time), Gillian probably would sometimes sleep at the library. The basement was spacious enough for a cot, after all, but it didn’t currently have one. Neither did her office, which wasn’t quite spacious enough for a cot, especially with the locked file cabinets taking up space on either side.

She did get most of her Council and Library Association work done here, though. Helped with the cell phone hotspot and the internet available. She could make calls and send out emails when she was unable to get ahold of people. Even with the limits in technology, most people eventually saw an email still, especially if they got texts reminding them to check cause she sent a thing.

As they get inside out of the summer heat and into the cool and dry conditioned air, they don’t see their target of the older librarian immediately, but they both see someone they recognize sitting off to the side, finger scrolling with a handheld tablet. To Lance he looks older, but still recognizable. Justin had left the Lighthouse to go to school over two years before. Combat had never been his forte, while studying had been, which meant he actually applied for college fairly early after the war and got in.

“Yeah, but maybe— “ Lance cuts off in mid-sentence as he spots Justin, a grin curving broad to his lips at the sight of one of the Lighthouse’s prodigals. He turns his head back towards Squeaks, holding a finger up to his lips even as silence falls around him. Circling away from the other teenager, around a shelf, foot-falls quiet as the grave as he stalks his target.

Closer, closer, stalks the wily acoustikinetic… and then he pounces, an arm moving to go around the taller teenager’s shoulders and hand coming up to try and apply knuckles to head in the traditional ‘noogie’. “Gotcha,” he crows out in triumph, “Thought you could hide from us in the library, huh?”

Squeaks is just beginning to bring a hand up to wave at Justin, and probably even give a vocal greeting too, but Lance’s shushing stops her. She watches, curiosity prompting her to follow for a couple of steps until a bookshelf gives her the chance to duck behind it and peek out. It’s not really hiding, just making herself less noticeable while watching Lance moves in for the attack.

While he’s surprised by the sudden touch on his arm (after all he hadn’t heard anyone approaching!) the voice seems to calm him from jumping or reacting badly. Justin glances up from the tablet, which he sets down on his lap — it’s a map app of some kind from the looks of it — and he’s grinning. Which is a good change. During the war he’d been pretty serious most the time. Serious and buried in books. He’d inherited most of Gillian’s books when she’d left, by default.

“Were we playing a game of hide and seek? No one told me.” It’s a joke. “And I’m pretty sure I would win.” The grin continues on his dark face as he looks past him and nods, “Good to see you again, Squeaks.” He hadn’t exactly been hiding from the others, he just hasn’t had much a chance to stop by yet. After all he’d only arrived in the safe zone a few weeks ago, and it’s been hectic.

“Bullshit,” Lance laughs as he releases the other teenager, dropping into a nearby chair with a broad grin, “I’m the best at seeking, even if you know all the hiding places
how’ve you been, man, haven’t seen you in forever? We needed to come talk to Gillian, but, Squeaks said you were here too. You staying here in the ‘Zone, or just stopping by for a visit?”

He tilts his head over in the direction of the younger girl, “We adopted her, now she’s ours.”

“Hi,” Squeaks replies quietly from where she’s peeking out from behind the bookstacks. She even gives a small wave of her hand and a teeny grin. “I told that I met you and you wanted to see my maps for your work.” She shrugs, a quick bounce of her shoulders, following her explanation.

The girl stays watching the two older teens for just a minute longer, then leaves them to catch up on things. There’s some books to look at still, while Lance and Justin talk — it’s the Library, after all! And maybe wave at Gillian, so she knows they’re there when her work is done.

“You’re the best at sneaking, not seeking,” Justin teases, but doesn’t go much further into that. He does, after all, know all the good hiding spots and the fastest way to get to them from his current location. His ability wasn’t that strong back in their time up in Canada, but like Lance, he’s learned a little more about it. “Gillian told me. Honorary Lighthouse Kid. I like it.” They did kind of absorb some of the other children on Pollepel when they moved from the Lighthouse to there. Anyone without family found one with them, often enough. “I’m going to college here, but I’ll be living down in the trailer park until they assign me proper housing. They didn’t have enough on campus. It’s not that bad.”

A bunch of FEMA trailers in rows, but he lived there by himself, it had all the things he needed, even if it had spotty power and no running water. It reminded him of when they lived on the island, in some ways. With less castle.

As Squeaks moves around, she does catch sight of Gillian inside her office, the door opened enough to peak inside. She’s working on paperwork, but all appearances, but she looks up just in time to see the wave. That earns a smile and she’s on her feet, stepping out of the office and closing the door behind her with a click of the lock as she goes. “Having a good day, Squeaks?”

“Brynn was living down there, but I dragged her to my place,” Lance admits, dropping himself to sprawl in a chair — totally forgetting why he’s here for a moment, faced with Justin’s presence, “Not, y’know, a safe place for a deaf girl on her own, y’know? You ever need a place to crash, I’ll give you the address, come on by. It’s slightly better than the trailers. I’ve been working as a part-time DJ for the radio station, it’s pretty primal— Joe’s being, uh, Joe. Brynn’s apprenticing with a tattooist, oh! Abby’s in town with Kasha, she’s getting big…” And isn’t that weird?

Seeing that Gillian is working, Squeaks doesn’t look like she’s going to linger too long in front of the office. She can find a book or six to keep herself occupied until Lance is done talking and Gillian is done working. But she does stay, since the librarian leaves her work to say hi. Which prompts a “Hi,” from the girl and a sort of smallish grin and nod. Any day at the library is usually a good day. “Yes. Lance is here talking to Justin, too. I told him that Justin was in the Safe Zone.”

“I can see it not being the best place for Brynn alone,” though Justin wouldn’t consider her helpless, even with certain limitations due to her disability. Being a girl didn’t really factor too much with him, because he saw how certain other ladies who had been raised with them had turned out, like Berlin, who he knew currently had taken up with Wolfhound. “But I’m good. I don’t need much and I can wait for the lottery to place me somewhere. Doesn’t sound like things have changed too much.” Joe being Joe, them absorbing kids without proper families, all that stuff that was just— them.

“Bray’s supposed to be here somewhere, but he hasn’t really been good at checking in. Not that he ever really was.” He’d always been one of the oldest, did what he wanted most the time. But that’s more than Lance probably knew. “So’s Lily, they came down here together. I’m sure she’s just daydreaming somewhere.” It was hard to keep track of everyone after they got a certain age. “Guess going our separate ways is part of growing up.” Except Kasha, at least. Somehow in his head she’ll always be a baby. If only he knew, right?

Where Squeaks is speaking to Gillian, she grins, nodding and looking past the young girl toward the two teenagers. “It’s good that they’re catching up again. I think Justin pretends he’s okay with being on his own sometimes, but he’s definitely working toward making a career with his ability— He’s applying for a technical degree.”

“Yeah…” Lance’s nose wrinkles a bit at the mention of them going separate ways, “…maybe. We should still stay in touch, though, and like I said — even when you get your own place, if you need a couch or something. You should stop by, at least, see the gang.”

A grin, then, “Juniper’s here somewhere, she’s got this pastry truck. The Rings of Juniper. That girl and her puns, right..? I’ll keep an eye out for Bray and Lily, if there’s around the Zone, but yeah, they’ve always been bad about it.” He snorts, “Hailey was living in the Bronx for awhile, can you believe it? She got shot once, bunch’a kidnappers and murderers and shit up that way.”

He tilts his head over in Squeak’s direction, then, “You and her power’d work well together. She’s like a bat, all eek eek and she can see everything.” There’s not actually an eek eek, not to human hearing anyway. “We’ve been mapping some of the underground.”

“Yeah.” Squeaks follows Gillian’s look over to the boys. “I think he likes having his friends coming back.” She shrugs, shoulders bouncing up and down again. “He was really exciting when I told him about Justin. It’s good he’s here today.” She’d thought he might be, because she knew he’d been practicing at superpowers for the badge thing.

She watches the older teens for a minute or two longer, then looks up at Gillian. “And. I told Lance we should maybe find you,” Squeaks starts explaining. She looks a little not sure when she brings it up, though, and she hesitates before going on. “We found a book, like a diary, from before the war mostly. Lance says it was Eileen Ruskin’s.” She’s vaguely nervous as she explains, asking grown-ups for help is a big step for her.

“I’m not sure Bray’s actually in the Safe Zone, but he should be around. Lily was for a little while, though, at one point.” Justin wished he could be more detailed, but with the lack of cellphone service and physical phones, it would have been difficult to keep track of them even if they had been one to keep contact. Unfortunately his ability doesn’t allow him to track the location of anyone except himself. “But it’s really good to see you again. We both getting older, maybe one day people will stop treating us like kids.” He kind of means Gillian, from his side glance in the direction of her talking to Squeaks.

Kind of.

When Squeaks mentions the diary, her eyebrows raise in surprise, especially about who happened to have written it. “You didn’t go up to the Island, I hope.” That’s the only place she could think of that would have such a thing, though the flooding and bird-wrought destruction after the dome went down probably left very little to go back and find. She certainly never attempted, due to the bad memories.

“Yeah…” Lance slants a rueful look over in the same direction as Justin’s glance, “…I think the Ferry’ll always see us like that, more or less. Then there’s a few people that’ll always see us as adults and that’s even weirder.” Whatever he means by that. Then he’s pushing himself up to his feet, “I gotta talk to Gillian, though— maybe grab a bite to eat later? Catch up and shit.” A grin’s flashed, and then he’s heading for the office where Squeaks is chatting with her.

“I…” Squeaks fills in the rest with a tiny shrug, that nervousness about her becomes more noticeable. Like she’s discovering that she’s in some serious trouble. “I’m sorry. I didn’t go alone. Lance went too, and Owain. We were careful.” Her arms wrap tight around her middle and she peeks sidelong toward the boys, then lifts to look up at Gillian. “It wasn’t scary or… and we stayed together…” Mostly.

Squeaks’ brows wrinkle as she tries to figure out how to make the trip to the island not sound terrible. Another peek aside shows her that Lance is coming over. And nothing she can think of sounds good, she settles on a really quiet, “Please don’t be mad,” while looking at Gillian again.

“Have fun. I’ll be around,” Justin responds with a grin, picking up his tablet and moving toward the reference section of the library, which isn’t very big in the children’s version. It still had maps and newspapers and magazines, though. It had been the maps that Squeaks had been interested in, and Justin as well.

As Lance approaches, he might have heard the end of what Squeaks said, cause Gillian looks past the young girl to look at him. He who has gotten so big and tall but still gets mom-look occasionally from her cause she can’t help but see him as the mischievous young boy she first met all those years ago. Cause he’s right. Certain members of the Ferry will probably always see them as children.

“You didn’t take everyone to Pollepel, did you?” Cause that’s what she had meant by the island (nevermind most of New York City happened to always be made up of islands, that one was just much further away). She doesn’t sound mad just worried. Not that Staten Island would be much better considering.

“I’m not mad, and I’m glad you went as a group, at least…” That’s safer than what Hailey had been doing living in the Bronx by herself. But still dangerous.

“Pollepel…?” Lance’s brow knits in confusion as he joins the pair, leaning against the entranceway to the office, “No, that’s full of killer bir— oh!” Realization clears his expression as he looks over to Squeaks, then back with a grin, “She told you about the stuff we found? No, we found that on Staten.”

Also not a great place to go.

“It was all in an old tower someone was using as a safehouse,” he adds, “Found some other stuff, too. Pictures. A phone. Wireless confirmed who it belonged to.” The latter a bit quieter, so as nobody overhears the mention of one of the more famous technopaths in the world.

For a second there’s confusion. Pollepel? Squeaks isn’t completely sure where that is. “No,” she starts, but she lets Lance fill in the rest when he joins. While the older teen talks, she drops her arms long enough to pull the journal from a pocket. It’s turned around then opened to the first mention of Gillian — a crossed out entry from April 2010 advising to ask Gillian about Iago — then offered to the librarian. Once it’s taken, her arms wrap around again in that sort of self-hug.

“There’s her thoughts and things,” Squeaks explains quietly. For less than a second, she makes a face like she’d bitten into something unexpectedly gross. The entry about the dream comes to mind, and she’s glad she didn’t show that page first. “But there’s things. We can’t read it because it’s gibberish. It’s like a secret code or something.”

No, Staten’s not much better. “You remember that’s where the slave traders took Hailey before she escaped, right?” Gillian adds after a moment, giving them both a quiet warning in the way she said that. Because Staten definitely was not a place to go to lightly. Gangs, slavers, all of that. She only knew one person she actually trusted on that island. And at the mention of Eileen’s diary she remembers him rather vividly.

The new body that a lost mind had been placed in.

“It’s usually not a good idea to read a woman’s journal,” she adds as an aside, even as she can’t help but look at the entry when she notices her own name. Iago.

Yes, she remembers Iago. Especially since people think he somehow managed to survive what happened to him in Argentina. Or something else of the like, at least. “A secret code. It must be something she didn’t want others to read.” She looks hesitant, but then she looks off and nods slowly. “Can I get a photocopy of the coded parts?”

“We go in strength,” says Lance simply but firmly, “It was home, for a long time. Some slaver pricks aren’t going to scare us away from it.” It’s his way of reminding her that he’s not a kid anymore. None of them are. Of course, it’s not going to work.

Then he’s raking his hand back through his hair, explaining his plan, “I want to try and clear her name. Eileen’s. Everyone thinks she was the traitor, but— she’s not. It was Griffin. It’s not fair. Even if she’s dead, it’s not fair.”

“We stayed together,” Squeaks says to underscore Lance’s comment. She may have stayed less visible than the boys, using the tree growth and such to hide, but she stuck pretty close to their trail. “And we have a map now. — I didn’t make it, we found it. But it shows where the traffickers are, and other places.”

To Gillian’s question, the girl nods quickly. “I can go make it,” she offers. Using the photocopier is a little exciting. Plus she can find the pages of codes pretty fast.

The kids. With a map. That shows them where traffickers are. “I don’t suppose you’d consider giving that to one of the SESA agents, would you?” Gillian knows she can’t contact the one who went under cover to try and find out— but the fact he’s not back yet tells her he still hasn’t finished his assignment. She misses Donut, but isn’t about to say that outloud, either. And besides, she knew the kids already knew some SESA agents, so perhaps they intended to.

As Squeaks goes to make copies, she passes over a key to the girl, so she can bypass the copy limits and any coins she might need to put in there, before she focuses back on Lance.

“I know Eileen’s not the traitor, but certain people wanted a scapegoat, and saw something convenient. And she had enemies within the Ferry as well.” From being such a stubborn hardass and so militant at times. But obviously Gillian hadn’t agreed cause she dedicated one of her books to her. And had stated she did not believe that version of events that people have pushed whenever asked about it.

As for Griffin… “It would be more effective if you could find proof that he had been the traitor, then proof that Eileen wasn’t. And I don’t think even Eileen knew.”

Not until after, at least.

It might be a surprise to her that Lance says with an easy nod, “I was planning on giving them a copy, actually. If it helps them take care of the assholes that tried to take Hailey— “ A flash of heat in his eyes, “Then it’ll be worth it.”

Then he’s frowning, glancing after Squeaks and back again, “That’ll be tricky. I doubt anyone will buy ‘some telepathic birds told his son so’… maybe we can go roll his place, see if he left a journal or anything like that.” The Ferry protected him and his adopted family for many years; he still clearly feels a fierce loyalty to them, even if it’s long gone.

“Yes,” the girl says of the map copying. She had already thought about making some copies anyway, so she can keep the original but make sure some people like Gillian — and probably the See-Sah people — could have a copy also. And when Lance says the same about the map, she grins a tiny grin.

Taking the journal in one hand, and the key in the other, Squeaks hurries off to the copier. She’s already started flipping pages in the book to find the first set of codes by the time she’s at the machine. It isn’t long after that she’s fitted the key into its slot and figured out the buttons to print two-sided. It’s slow work having to find the code-entries in the journal and all that, but before long, there’s a few pages collected.

There's a relieved nod when the teen says he plans to hand over the map. It means, to Gillian at least, that they probably won't try to take measures into their own hands. Or so she hopes. "Yeah, that wouldn't be usable in a court. Have you tried contacting Wolfhound? They might have some data— you could contact them through Quinn, Colette, or even Berlin." The younger girl, had after all, been living with them for a while after Pollepel.

When the newest of the young ones returns with the copied pages, she nods with a smile. "I don't know anyone who's good at cracking codes, but I can try using the internet to figure it out. If that doesn't work, we may have to go to Wolfhound or something. I don't know if they have any codebreakers, but Rue might do that kind of thing."

Of course, the Lighthouse also has the best forger in the world amongst their number, so the odds of them having a copy of the map before they hand it over? It’s fairly high.

Lance snaps his fingers once, and points at Gillian. “You’re right. I should go see if Colette can help,” he says, a grin flashing across his lips, “Gotta introduce Squeaks to her anyway.” He tilts his head to look over to the younger girl, offering, “‘’Lette is one of us. She’s, like, the big sister. She kicks ass with Wolfhound these days.” He’s bragging about her a little, it seems. “Or the others, yeah, that’s not a bad idea.”

He wrinkles his nose, “Wireless could, but she just said ‘Yes, they’re encrypted’ and read them herself and didn’t tell me much. She’s stodgy.”

After copies are made and papers all stacked neatly together — probably in reverse order since they were made oldest to newest — Squeaks offers them and the key back to Gillian. The journal has made its way back into her pocket, because it’s safer there than floating around. “There’s lots of you,” she observes with a small tilt of her head, wondering.

Her arms fold around her middle again. “I will keep this book in a really safe place. Hidden so no one can find it. Ever.” Unless she tells where it is, of course.

It’s true, Colette had always been kind of like the big sister of the group. Juniper’s age, an orphan, though with an adoptive father figure whose last name she ended up taking, and had helped them many times too. “Colette might also be interested in helping clear Eileen’s name, at least publicly.” Gillian responds with a nod, though there might be others who would too. Perhaps not Rue, after what happened to her on the island originally.

“Kaylee might want to know about this as well. She was the one who was nearly killed by the traitor.” Owain’s dad? She hadn’t really thought too much about it, and she hadn’t actually known him except in passing. But if he’d been the traitor it would be nice to have publicly known.

“Is this what caused the vandalism that happened at the museum?” She knew about that from the news, but also from the fact that museums and libraries were covered under the same branch in many ways. After all this library happened to be a mini-museum as well, with objects from the Ferry and those who died in the attack on the Arcology on display.

As Squeaks assures that Eileen’s journal will be kept private, for the most part, she nods in relief. “When you have the time, I’d like to talk to you about something soon, Squeaks. But it can wait until you have time.” And it must be something she prefers to talk about in private, too.

“Maybe you can talk to her, Squeaks? Kaylee, I mean— “ Lance looks over to the younger girl with a brow’s lift, “You work over there sometimes, right? You and Owain…”

A flicker of a guilty look over to Gillian as the vandalism is mentioned, and then he hurries on to the topic at hand, “I can go talk to ‘lette, if she’s not busy out kicking ass somewhere, anyway.”

“Sometimes,” Squeaks agrees. “But not with Owain. He does different things, like… I think he brings coffee and that’s it. I get to run errands and see places.” Which is way better than being stuck in an office all the time, in her opinion. “I’ll show Kaylee next time I go there,” she promises of the book.

There’s a very quick side-eyed look aimed at Lance when the museum vandalism is brought up. Squeaks knows what happened, sort of. She saw the older teenager the next morning, at least, and heard parts of the story. But she doesn’t say anything about it. Nope. She looks up at Gillian instead, and when she’s spoken to the girl’s brows crease with curiosity.

“Okay.” There’s a tiny, faintly nervous question implied in that answer. She doesn’t ask that question this time, but instead bounces her shoulders with a teeny shrug.

“I’m sure Colette is often off somewhere kicking ass,” Gillian responds with a dimpled grin, because, well, it’s true. The young woman often is off somewhere kicking ass and taking names and if anyone had information on Griffin and his activities, she imagined it would be Wolfhound. Hunting down traitors and war criminals had been kind of their thing, after all.

As Squeaks gives her promise, she nods, “I mostly meant tell her about the Griffin part, but she might also have some insight on the journal.” The woman had many talents, after all, and they she didn’t think Kaylee would look down on Owain for what his father had done. After all, she had her own father issues herself.

“While you’re all here, do you want some lunch before you go off on adventures? I always have a few sandwiches prepared.” She keeps them wrapped in a cooler after making them every morning in case a kid happens to come to the library looking as if they haven’t ate in a while.

At the offer of lunch, Lance can’t help a grin, shaking his head a bit though he says, “Yeah, I’ll take a sandwich, if you’ve got them laying around. Thanks.”

Then he pauses a moment, glancing to Squeaks and back, “You want me to leave you two to talk? I can go catch up with Justin— I gotta come by your place sometime and bother my sister anyway.”

“Yes.” Squeaks’ reply when offered food is almost automatic but not lacking in enthusiasm. She’s never been known to turn away food, unless it was rotted beyond recoverable. Lance’s offer has her looking his way again, but there’s still that little shruggy motion she does. “I have time,” she offers as she looks up at Gillian again. “I can stay here all day.”

“I’m sure you could,” Gillian responds with a grin, before she has to shake her head. “I can’t do it today. I have meetings on some projects I’m working on today— I’m just glad you didn’t try to stop by an hour from now.” She would not have been there. But that didn’t mean Squeaks couldn’t stay in the library and enjoy the book collection she’d worked so hard to build. What those projects are, who knows. She had mentioned trying to work on that horse farm that Eve had suggested at the Council meeting— and the Zoo she had wanted to open for Hailey. It could be one of those.

It doesn’t take long for her to step back into her office and pick out a handful of sandwiches, wrapped in plastic wrap to keep them from getting soggy. They were still cool, but not really cold. They weren’t wet, either, though, the cooler being full of ice packets rather than ice and water. “But you should definitely come by another day. It’s nothing that needs to be handled immediately.”

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