Don't Tempt the Fates


elisabeth_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Don't Tempt the Fates
Synopsis Gambling on the forgotten past while trying to change the future feels like a risky business…
Date May 5 2011

The Skinny Brickfront

Sunday mornings used to mean the newspaper. Perhaps if she was lucky a lazy layabout with a companion in a comfortable queen-sized bed piled up with pillows. Elisabeth misses her apartment. She kind of misses her life. Sitting on a chair that was scrounged up from God only knows where — she really doesn't wish to know where Jaiden's managing to find things — the blonde has a cup of hot coffee in her hands and she's eyeing the bagel on a paper towel in her lap with something approaching skepticism.

For Jaiden, Sunday mornings meant a run through the park and then a krispy kreme donut and a cup of coffee before heading home to read the paper, but for now, Sunday morning is just another morning, albiet one that allows a little more getting around due to public offices and most other places opening late and closing early. Jaiden's scrounging has paid dividends - some chairs and tables are a little disheveled and bedraggled, but others are nice enough to put into a normal home and wouldn't get a second look. Thank goodness for Goodwill.

The shower that Jaiden set up squeaks off and, after a few minutes, Jaiden comes into the makeshift kitchen dressed in a long pair of jogging pants and a T-shirt with the wet towel around his shoulders. He takes note of the bagel and the look Liz is giving it, chuckling. "Part of a balanced breakfast…not too appetizing, but it'll fill you up and it was cheap."

"Yeah," Elisabeth grunts. She forces a small smile. "Don't mind me, just having a little bit of a mood. You'd think being homeless would make me beyond grateful for this much. And I am." She looks up at him. "I used to have homeless people tell me that often they couldn't really figure out how they got where they were. They had a good job, they had enough money to live on. And then suddenly one day they were living in their car. And things kept getting worse so they sold the car for money for food. Finally landing… dirty, disheveled, sometimes towing a couple of kids with them, living in the park during the summer and trying to find someplace indoors at night in the winter." She pauses. "We're the richest homeless people I've ever seen. And part of me is still wondering how the hell we got here," she confesses. She wasn't raised in a home that was even close to poor. 'Cheap' had a whole different meaning until a month ago.

It's not that they're destitute - far from it - and it's not that their situation was caused by them - in fact it was as a result of a long and complicated series of random events that caused the pair to be sitting in an abandoned building, discussing homelessness over a bagel. And it's what they are, really. Without a rudder right now, seeking to see the star that will lead them to a destination that they can begin anew or use to find out where they need to be. The Australian slips into one of the other scavenged chairs on the opposite side of the 'table' made of a discarded wire spool and nods. "I've been rich and poor. I've been hungry for days or so full that I couldn't eat another bite for a week. Life is never stable or straightforward - there's always going to be something that changes everything, and our something happened to rock us out of our comfortable apartments and into this building here. It's our job, as human beings, to find a way out of this. And the best way to do that is to be happy, stay healthy, and do the job that we've set ourselves up to do." He looks out the window, the city spreading out to the horizon, stirring in the early morning light. "At least it's not cold yet." There's always that.

"Heh…. don't tempt the Fates, mister. Hell froze over a couple years ago — we had the ice age, Evo style." Elisabeth smiles faintly. "I'm sorry. I just…. " She shrugs. "Anyway, I have another exit strategy if we need it," she informs him quietly. "Phillip's got a yacht at the harbor and a place Down Under, apparently. I don't know how many he can take aboard, but …. knowing his finances in the matter, we'd probably all make it."

"I remember.." Jaiden says with a smirk. "My garage, and the safehouse downstairs, was basically what kept a neightborhood or two alive and unfrozen. I was the only building with power and heat for about six blocks during that time. It was really tight, but we kept a lot of people alive and safe. And I'm hoping that we won't get that again." He listens to the tale of the yacht and of Phillip's plan, nodding slightly. "Sounds like you trust him, then."

Elisabeth considers that, her coffee cup to her lips. "Not…. entirely certain," she admits. "Part of me ….. " There's a sigh. "I don't know what happened when we were kids. I gather things went bad wrong. He trusts me enough — or is making it look damn good — to take me at my word when I tell him about government conspiracies and dystopic futures. Enough to hand over his portfolio information. Enough to threaten to haul me out of the country kicking and screaming whether I like it or not if it gets to the point of full-on concentration camps." She shoots Jaiden a bit of a grin. "But … part of me keeps waiting for him to do something wrong. And I can't tell if it's the girl he hurt in years I don't remember or if it's my grown-up instincts."

"I think we'll be all heading to safer ground when concentration camps hit." Jaiden's voice is quiet, the man reaching for a cup of coffee and taking a gulp of the thick brown stuff, shivering as it burns it's way down. "Is he really too good to be true?

"What, you thought you had a monopoly on that condition?", comes a voice from outside the door, before Ygraine tramps in. Wrapped in her big, baggy sweater she's clearly not appreciating the chill of the morning, but seems to have little difficulty in finding a grin for the pair already in the room. "Any coffee on the go, or do I need to gnaw on one of you in search of caffeine?"

Elisabeth chuckles at Ygraine's comment, and she has to admit softly, "I…. can only do what I can do. My gut says he can be trusted. His agenda… seems legitimate to me. Personal issues aside, can we afford to turn down any help that we can get?"

Jaiden gestures to the pot, still half full of the blessed liquid. "I don't think we can. We can do a lot to change the world, but we need backup, and people to continue the fight while we rest up. Phillip may be that person."

"There're some people I'd tell you to run a mile from", Ygraine admits while homing in on the pot. "But the only thing that makes me suspicious of Phillip is that he seems almost too good to be true. However, you've got the past connection and he is a real person. This isn't some made-to-measure stranger popping up out of the aether and announcing that he wants to help us without any prior tie. This is someone who is linked, and about whom we know at least a little. So… it's a risk, yes. But one I think is worthwhile, especially given the fact that you've had a chance to assess him, and we're not just going with a first impression."

Elisabeth clears her throat and rubs the back of her neck a bit self-consciously. "My… primary concern is definitely that he's…. " She bites her lip. "We have history. A lot more of it than I know. We were … apparently pretty serious at one time, and he tells me that he's the one who screwed it all up. Seems… like it was perhaps deeper than he's willing to say, but making amends in some fashion is part of why he wants in. That kind of history is definitely something that could be used against us, as well. Because on the one hand, I want to trust him. And then there's this one little part that is…. reticent."

A bullet-shaped hole in ones memory doesn't do much for keeping things straight, and Jaiden, sipping as his coffee, understands what kind of pressure Elisabeth is under. "It is water under the bridge, after all…what's in the past is in the past. Can't change it."

Pursing her lips, Ygraine sets about sorting out her caffeine infusion. "The best we can do is go with what we have, and… well, that sounds good. So while I think you're right to be cautious, I think you're also right to be pressing ahead with this. Though… on a personal level, I'm really sorry for what you've lost, Liz."
Long distance to Sable: Ygraine grins and patpats.

With a faint grimace, Elisabeth admits quietly, "Until he showed up, the only thing I regretted losing was the time with my mother." She sighs heavily and drops her head back against the chair. "Never thought much about missing things like … prom. Or my first… you know." She grins cheekily. "And even now, it's only a small regret. The idea that he and I had something, it's… abstract. I don't really know him anymore even if I did remember, and who knows? I might be entirely unwilling to trust him if I had a grudge still in there." She nods though. "We'll just have to take the chance, at the bottom of it all. It's all we can do. We can't fight alone."

"We shouldn't regret that which was lost, Lizzie. Even with it not there, even with you not remembering it, it's affected you. It's changed you and the world around you because of your actions. You'll be able to discover what those were one day, by meeting those you've touched." Jaiden smiles and gives her hand a light squeeze. "Build on his trust. On that gut feeling you have. My gut has kept me alive more times than I can count.

Accompanied by the quiet clinks and chinks of the final stages of preparing her coffee, Ygraine lifts a brow at Jaiden as the big Aussie waxes lyrically philosophical. She keeps her thoughts to herself, however, settling for cradling her mug in both hands, savouring the warmth and aroma alike.

Bringing her coffee to her lips, Elisabeth savors the flavor, kind of ignoring that bagel on her lap. "My gut says to trust him. I think it's …. my heart that is reluctant," she admits. "He had the power to hurt me once, and I think that is what's still effecting me. I'm afraid that if I trust this guy, it'll bite me in the ass." Perhaps in the same way, she cannot allow the idea that Richard is dead or never coming back to be reality for her. It will break something in her that will never recover.

You know we'll be there if you need us, Lizzie. come hell or high water, you'll have an Aussie and a Brit standing shoulder to shoulder against the wall when the revolution comes. You know it." Jaiden grins. "The fact that you're thinking of such things, that you're worrying about the ability he may have to hurt you…." Jaiden's head shakes in the negative. "You should just lay back and let the current take you where it takes you."

"Not all of us are quite so at home in water as you", Ygraine gently teases the Aussie. "And being up against the wall when the revolution comes sounds rather uncomfortably dangerous. But I do support the sentiment. We'll back you, Liz. And it sounds like you're doing a good job, to me."

"I trust you people to kick me in the ass when we need it." Elisabeth smiles. "So in the meantime, … talk to me about something else, will you both? It's too fucking early on a Sunday morning to be ruminating over such things."
Jaiden will do other things to Lizzie's ass to clear her head other than kick it, but that's neither here nor there. He chuckles and takes another sip of his coffee. "Well, I've been looking around to find an apartment that we can use as a base - kind of on Ygraine's prompting. It's nice to have an exit strategy. Better to have three or four."

"I need you to come and spend more time underground with me, for our secret base options", Ygraine informs Jaiden. "There's a load of space underground, but you're going to be a better judge than me of the likelihood of repairing various systems and of how well people will cope with the various options for quarters that I've found. I know I'm a lot less bothered by being underground than many. But some places I think we could make feel quite homely."

What better way to spend a sunday? Jaiden smiles to Ygraine. "I'll get my coat, then. Let's go and get it done without too much of a delay. Urban exploration is safer when there's lots of light.

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