Decisiveness and Aggression


claire2_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Decisiveness and Aggression
Synopsis Claire informs Eileen what she's been up to and receives a warning to slow down and watch her step.
Date March 31, 2010

The Garden: Second Floor Bedroom

The bedroom on the second floor of the Garden that Eileen has chosen for Claire is small, but not uncomfortably so; furnished with a twin bed, oak dresser for storage and an old armchair in the corner furthest by the door beside a window looking out over a snowy field with two gray mares in it, the word that springs to mind instead is cozy.

Rusty hinges creak as the Englishwoman opens the wooden trunk at the foot of the bed where the linens are kept and selects a heavy winter quilt in dark blue with pale yellow flowers woven throughout, which she gives a brisk shake to relieve it of its stale smell and any spiders that might have taken up residence between the folds the last time the bedding was in use. She's already laid down a set of cotton sheets and dressed the pillowcases in fresh fabric with her surly companion's help.

"They ring the bell when supper's on," she's saying. "You can take it at the table or bring it up to the room. Chores are assigned every morning at seven, but if there's something you want to do then you should be down at six and tell them what it is you've got your heart set on before someone beats you to it."

It's not in any way usual for something as simple and 'lightweight' as dressing a bed would warrant stretching out the muscles in an arm. But it's also not usual to get shot, and because Raith is not like Claire, it takes him time to recover from gunshot wounds. At least they're only stiff and don't hurt so much anymore. "Be quick, or someone will beat you to it," he says, "Someone always does."

The duffel she's been carrying has been dropped at her feet without ceremony, the young blonde regenerator looks worn out, but then it has been a really long day. Glancing around the room, Claire pulls the knit cap off her head, blonde hair tumbling around her shoulders, and hands start to work at her scarf. "I appreciate this, guys." She offers softly, tossing cap and scarf on the bed. A glance goes to Raith, a brow lifting slightly, as the mention hurrying for chores. "I'll keep that in mind."

Her cellphone is pulled out, the battery removed, this is set on the bed as well. The young woman is not in the mood to deal with anymore calls, especially that damn Rebel. "Should only need to lay low for a month." Her tone bland. "After that I should be out of your hair."

"It's not my hair you're in," says Eileen, and with a snap of her wrists tosses the quilt across the mattress. It settles in waves, requiring a firm hand to smooth out the fabric, tug it taut at the edges and iron out the remaining wrinkles with the press of her palm, no extra fussing required. "I haven't lived here for an age."

Pillows beaten into submission with a small fist, she steps away from the bed and turns her attention to the dresser, squeaking open drawers one at a time to ensure they're either empty or stocked with donated clothes that Claire can layer on top of the ones she brought with her in case she gets too cold. Apart from the cast iron radiator under the window and the quilt on the bed, the room lacks sources of warmth. Those that it does have aren't very sophisticated.

"Is there anything else you need?"

"Don't forget we're not far away if you do," Raith adds as a follow-up to Eileen's question, "Although I hope you won't need the kind of help we provide." And then, there's also… "There's a pack of, feral dogs running around the wilds, almost certainly dangerous. Just be careful and don't get too far away from roads alone, and you shouldn't have any problems with them. Hopefully, you won't have any problems with them regardless in a few days." He leaves it open for interpretation exactly what he means by that. "No promises."

"Well, the Ferrymen's hair." Fingers comb her hair back from her face, catching slightly in a tangle. There is a small slow shake of her head, "I — can't think of anything, at the moment, Eileen. I'm not a high maintenance girl, and I'm still processing this whole damn mess." She comments, with a humorless chuckle, reaching down to pick up the duffel back and drag it over to set it next to dresser propping it up.

"You got word out right? So at least, this whole thing wasn't a total waste?" She asks her former teammate, eyes searching the other woman, while tugging open the draw. "I don't know what all the Ferrymen have safehouse wise, don't really need to know, just hoped it helped."

"Feral dogs?" That gets her attention, Claire turns to look back at Raith, brows raised slightly. "Really? Winter is making everything desperate I guess."

"Everyone living on the southern end of the island has been advised to relocate. Whether or not they decide to listen, I can't say." Because Eileen isn't moving. She's put too much time and effort into the Dispensary to abandon it the first time the Remnant catches wind of trouble blowing their way. As she and Jensen have already discussed, they still have Gabriel, and Gabriel is in possession of an ability that can shield their pack's den from view if the birds spy trucks coming up the drive.

She slides the bottommost drawer shut, braces her hand against the side of the dresser and stands up, the other driving its heel into the small of her back as she rolls her shoulders and alleviates some of the tension there. Raith isn't the only one who's feeling stiff. "Thank you. For the warning."

While Eileen busies herself with the dresser, Raith busies himself with the room's window, pushing the curtain's outmost edge aside just enough to look out of it. What he expects or hopes to see is anybody's guess. Maybe there's some of the old spy left in him that simply refuses to stop being paranoid about everything.

"Welcome." A small smile tugging at the corner of her mouth, Claire is feeling… awkward being somewhere she said she'd never be. Of course, times change. Teeth catch her bottom lip as she considers something, head nodding some. "Well…" Claire draws that word to softly, "I know there will be people protecting those that can't protect themselves." Eyes shifting from one Remnant to the other.

"So people are not going to just roll over and let it happen. Personally, I'm not sure I can either." Claire has been at the mercy of one of the Institutes possible resident scientists. "I would rather not give Gregor more play toys."

A glance goes to the cellphone, "I'm sure you guys have questions." She turns to leans against the dresser, brows lifting some as she glances between them both, hands resting behind her on the dresser. "And for the record. He killed me first. I shot him in the leg after so I could leave, I'm starting to think I should have killed him instead of having a conscious." Words a touch cold, lips pressing together.

A glance at the back of Raith's head yields nothing except dark hair and a muscular neck. If he has reasons for peeling back the curtains apart from the ones with she is already familiar, they haven't been shared. All of a sudden, there's a hand between his shoulder blades applying just enough pressure for the touch to register; Eileen has joined him at the window and focuses past the frost-caked pane, searching the trees beyond it. You can't see either the Lighthouse or the Dispensary from up here, but Claire's room does have a view of the distant water, obscured though it is by fog. When she looks at him, it's to ask if everything is all right with pale eyes rather than words. Those she reserves for Claire.

"You could start from the beginning," she suggests. "What interested you in Lemay?"

Raith looks back at Eileen, just enough to let her know that, yes, he feels her there. Then, his attention is back out the window for a few moments more before he allows the curtain to fall back into place. Nothing worth seeing, apparently. His attention then moves to Claire while he sets himself up leaning against the wall and window frame. Apparently, it's story time.

"Simply." Claire says matter of fact, one foot moving to hook over the other. "To start where this all began, EndGame was asked to join whatever resistance group was forming. We were worried it was PARIAH being brought back."Taking a deep breath as she considers, Claire lays it out, a glance going to each, the words spoken rather matter of factly. "I went to them and told them that Endgame was willing to work with them, but not join them."

"I was told it was join or nothing, so I said I would." Hands come off the dresser and spread out in an helpless gesture. "Few weeks back, I get a message. Go to such and such place, get two files. Drop them off, then your in."

There is a roll of her eyes and a sigh, head moving back and forth in a non-commital way as she admits. "I didn't check who lived there, I hadn't a clue. I was told Rebel would have my back." Eyes hood some, her expression bland as hands press back on the dresser. "Got the files. Found that schedule on the desk. The files were Company, there were Commonwealth Institute files all over and CDC paperwork as well."

Her head nods at Eileen, "I sent you the image of the time table. Anyhow, while I was taking pictures for EndGame. Guy shows up and kills me. No warning or nothing. I got up, shot him in the leg, kicked him in the head when he reaches for another gun and left."

Hands spread out again again, "I had no idea who it was, that he was ex-Company or anything like that. Which explains how they knew it was me when, Rebel had all the camera's pointed away. But I would have gone anyhow, it was the only way to get in, not to mention they would have sent someone who wouldn't have walked away." Pushing off the dresser to stand straight again, "Part of the deal was I get in, I was out of Endgame. End of story here I am."

This is the first time that Eileen has heard Cardinal's organization referred to by name, and it brings a sardonic kind of smile to her lips. He's responsible for the Remnant's moniker; it does not surprise her to discover that he would choose something equally arbitrary for his own people.

"What kind of a leader sends a new recruit into a situation without educating them about the risks first?" she asks Claire, and the question is largely a rhetorical one. Her hand falls from Raith's back, but she does not move from the window or the heat seeping out from the radiator's metal coils. Slim arms fold, cashmere cardigan drawn closer to her body for warmth. It isn't so cold that she can see her breath when she releases it, but cold enough that no one except careless children run around the cottage in their bare feet.

"Rebel's methods are too aggressive to be successful over the long term," she says. "If he continues on his current path, the authorities are going to apprehend him and put an end to this little coup d'etat he's attempting to stage, which is a shame because he's quite good at what he does on his own."

"Being good only goes so far without being decisive," Raith concludes, "If Rebel's going to be aggressive, fine. He's got to be decisive too. Deathblow decisive, and there's no way he's got the resources available or in place to deal one. Not in such a short amount of time."

"Well, from what I can tell." Claire starts thoughtfully, "MESSIAH…" A pointed look at both again, before she continues, "…is only working with Rebel out of necessity. Rebel isn't telling them everything, and they don't tell him everything." Arms cross and eyes drop to the floor in front of her for a brief moment.

"Even they recognize the danger of this guy and because of Rebels… inattention I'm stuck flapping in the wind until things calm down a little." And the regenerator doesn't sound at all happy about it.

Eileen's lips grow tight and thin. In spite of it being her primary function within the Vanguard, she can't be expected to know everything that goes on in New York City, and yet the austere expression on her marble-white face suggests discomfort at her apparent unfamiliarity with the situation as it's being described to her. "Tell me about MESSIAH."

Eileen's function in the Vanguard was to be good at gathering intelligence. Raith, by necessity, had to be even better than her within the CIA. But with how quickly alliances and battle lines have been changing lately, how rapidly organizations have risen and then fallen, even between the two of them- between the entire Remnant- they can't be expected to know everything, and Raith is careful to conceal this fact with an even facial expression. Unsurprised, perhaps, but interested all the same.

"I don't have much intel yet," Claire admits, "And would like this not to go beyond us, but it's why I'm doing this. To be eyes and ears in there, not that they need to know that," Her head tilts back a touch as she turns thoughtful, thinking back on past conversations. "It's made up of old PARIAH, some of.. White's old gang, and Rickham showed up at one meeting as well. I was really worried PARIAH was back, there were things that scream it, but once I was in I learned it was a group called MESSIAH. Their being rather secretive about it."

Shoulder shrug some and her head shakes slowly, her expression somewhat apologetic. "Beyond that, you know as much as I do. Thanks to Rebel not warning me this guy was in the building doing his laundry. Well, they won't take me to the base, won't let me meet this mysterious boss of theirs for awhile yet."

White's followers and PARIAH. Of all the possible combinations—

"I don't have to tell you what sort of a risk an organization like that might pose for the rest of us." Eileen's voice is terser than it had been a few moments ago, and when she steps away from the window to maneuver around the bed, her footsteps resonate sharply in Claire's ears. "When we came back from Madagascar, I stressed to you the importance of preparation. If Rebel or MESSIAH moves before groups like the Ferry have developed the infrastructure they need to survive a direct attack by this country's government, we can all forget about any notions of an organized resistance.

"That goes for Cardinal, too."

"As if the days ahead weren't dark enough," Raith says with a snort. "Well-meaning goals or not, these people are dangerous, and I don't mean in the way the rest of us are dangerous. They're in a wonderful position to fuck up everything for the rest of us six ways from Sunday, and there won't be any recovering from it. You'd almost think that was the idea they had all along." Maybe it is the idea.

There is a sharp nod of understanding from Claire. "We're just as concerned." Claire says, and she doesn't mean MESSIAH. "Worse we're worried about it being a repeat of PARIAHs mistakes, that's part of the reason I'm getting in. Of all of Endgame's group, I'm the one that had ties to PARIAH and the best shot of getting someone on the inside. Hopefully, keep them from being idiots too soon."

There is a soft sigh from the ex-cheerleader, lips pressed together. "But like tomorrow. Some of them are going to try to protect people from being taken, I don't blame them Eileen. If what the Institute is doing is anything like what we saw, then these poor people need someone to help them get away. I can survive that kind of treatment, they can't."

"Starting to think this illness was started to find out who of us are evolved or not. To find them guinea pigs, without going to the registration." Claire moves to drop to sit on the bed, one leg tucked under her. "I'm not fully looking forward to this, but someone has to find out what is going on." And yet a part of her is looking forward to it, she can't deny it.

"Let's not run before we can walk," is all Eileen has to say on the subject. She continues past the bed, toward the door, and does not look back over her shoulder at Claire upon arriving on the threshold. Closes her hand around its wooden frame instead, waiting to hear Raith's footfalls behind her before taking her leave of the room. She's looking down the hall at something that neither he nor the blonde can see, her face turned away from both of them so that only the faint outline of her profile is visible. "Jensen."

Craning his neck to one side, Raith elicits an audible 'pop!' from it, before pushing away from the wall and stepping after Eileen. He's done all he can do here. "Keep your nose clean, kid. Least until it needs to get dirty."

"Thanks guys." And from the bed, Claire sends them a sloppy salute, waiting til they are out of the room before falling back on the bed, hands moving to cover her face. They slide down slowly, until she can see the ceiling, they study it, but don't really see it.

A part of her wonders what the hell is she getting into, another part of her is just glad the damn day is over.

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