Done Before, Done Again


eileen_icon.gif gillian2_icon.gif

Scene Title Done Before, Done Again
Synopsis Gillian brings Eileen up to speed on her findings.
Date July 2, 2009

Fresh Kills Harbor

Situated at one end of the Arthur Kill, this small harbor has clearly seen days of better and more frequent use. Though it's little more than a network formed by a few creaky docks and causeways, it's still more than suitable to tie up for those who have business on the Island. Invariably, at least one of the ports is taken up by a houseboat covered in seagull shit. A thick, greenish layer of bilge scum floats on top of the water and clings to the hull of every passing vessel. Welcome to Staten Island. If you have baggage or cargo to unload, there are usually a few layabouts at the Angry Pelican, which is just a short walk away. Just be sure to ask for a clean glass and keep one hand on your wallet at all times.

Though she'd implied running on water would be her preferred form of transportation to get to Staten Island, that's not how Gillian arrived. After setting up a neutral location away from the Garden, she took a ferry instead of another mode of transportation. Slower, cost money, but finding the right emotions to move as fast as her brother had been impossible after the day before. It's not until she approaches the small harbor that she realizes what the area of Staten Island had been called.

Arthur Kill.

Damn the Dutch and their damn Dutch language making riverbeds and water channels in the area get called kills. As she approaches the area, there's a distinct kind of ruffled look to her. Dark hair hangs loosely by her face, with no sign that she bothered to brush it out after a shower. No make up shows up on her face, paler than normal. The slump of her shoulders and slow pace to her walk also gives off an aire of hopelessness, depression. Fear for anyone who might have tried to give her trouble on the way to the meet up, though.

When Gillian arrives, she finds Eileen seated on an old mooring buoy that was once fire engine red but has since caked over with rust and seagull shit like some sort of metal sculpture abandoned to weather the salty sea air and corrosive waves lapping against the harbour's shore. If they were meeting further way from the water, she might be overdressed, but the breeze wafting off the ocean justifies the heavy gray hoodie she wears and gives her an appearance similar to the cormorant picking at the offering of stale bread she holds outstretched in her hand.

The other woman receives a small smile that looks uncomfortable on her lips, the corners of her mouth growing tight with tension that's mirrored in the hunched set of her shoulders and the snakelike curve of her arching neck. She tosses the bread several feet away into the water and gives the bird a gentle nudge with her boot. Not that the cormorant needs it — his wings are already beating by the time Eileen's foot comes into contact with his feathered rump, and he descends on the discarded food with the sudden ferocity of something that lives under the water rather than above it.

"I take it your talk with Peter didn't go over well?"

"Not really, no," Gillian murmurs in a raspy voice, hands digging deep into the pockets of sweat pants she seems to have thrown on as opposed to the usual almost stylish clothes she wears. Even the hoodie she wears is loose and drab in color. And too big for her. "He didn't know anything about Gabriel," she says quietly, getting that out of the way immediately. Not what she'd been sent in to hopefully find out, even the opposite of that.

From the haunted look in her eyes, she must have seen or heard terrible things. "I guess his father wasn't using that lie to keep him in check— apparently… he had other things to control his son with."

There's a quiet glance before she adds, "Maybe Lucrezia's bugs found out more, but— " It sounds very much like she wishes she'd never stepped foot in there again, from the tremors of her hoarse voice, to the moisture in her eyes, "Sorry I didn't find out more."

Disappointment clouds Eileen's eyes, more gray than they are green from the distance that Gillian is standing. Her voice is light, however, and although her smile fades it does not entirely disappear. The same cannot be said of the bread in the water. "I haven't heard from Lucrezia," she says, dusting the crumbs from her fingers and the rumpled folds of fabric in the seat of her lap, "so I can't say I'm too optimistic on that front. She said two days — it's been a week."

Grasping one of the salt-eaten supports, she pulls herself to her feet and steps off the buoy onto the shore. "Are you still going to fight him? Arthur?"

There's a laugh. Though the tears and shaking voice make it bitter and humorless, Gillian reaches up and rubs fingers over her eyes. Metalling up could be an option, but she's afraid to access any ability right now— the sky above is already turning cloudy the more she lets her emotions play with her. "Nothing could stop me from going back in there and trying my fucking best to kill him— once I stop feeling like I've been cut in half."

Those words come out without thought, but they describe the feeling much more perfectly than she could have suspected.

"You know Brian, right? I used his ability to go in there— just incase anything went wrong…" She shakes her head. Part of her had hoped Arthur couldn't suck power out of a clone if he tricked her, that maybe— "Everyone wants to use me and I'm fucking tired of being used— but tell me when and where and I'll do it. Whatever I have to." Already died once, and lost more than that too.

"The thing he was working on is done. Do you know about what they were doing? Trying to inject people with abilities… again." Again. Done before. Done again. "Peter said that the government would be stopping in next week, for a demonstration."

"I'm not going to tell you to do anything, Gillian." Eileen slips her hands into the front pockets of her hoodie, warming them against her belly and the body heat emanating from it. The boots on her feet provide the traction she needs to safely navigate the rocks. "All I know about Pinehearst is that Arthur and his people are responsible for a future that will never come to pass," she says. "Whatever bone you and Phoenix have to pick with him isn't any of my business. The only thing I care about is getting Gabriel's body back so he can finish fixing Teodoro."

The mere mention of the word government makes her visibly leery, but given the people she has a history of associating with — that might not come as much of a surprise. "I'm sorry if you got hurt."

"A future that should've never been," Gillian mutters under her breath, bitterness in her voice for some reason as she shakes her head. "If all you want is Gabriel then I'm sorry I couldn't do much to help. I might be able to let you know when we're going in— maybe while provide a distraction you can find him. Maybe— Fuck." The cursing seems to have increased the longer she talks, and the more her voice grows hoarse and destressed. The thicker the clouds get, threatening to drop rain on them.

"I wish I knew how Arthur found people. I'm supposed to have all these fucking abilities, and I know I got telepathy from him already so I should have that, but I don't have a fucking clue how it worked."

There's something angry in her voice, as she lets it trail off. "I'll see what Phoenix is planning to do and if I think it'll at all help you, I'll send you a message.

A future that should've never been. Eileen glances up at the gathering clouds, squinting against the sun's light as it bleeds hazily through, illuminates the natural highlights in her hair and causes the surface of the water to glitter and twinkle, though probably not for much longer if Gillian's mood continues to sink southward.

It's difficult for her not to agree with the other woman's assessment, if only because she wants to live. As comforting as they are, the shadow memories of caged finches, apple blossoms and black and white wedding photos ultimately aren't hers — they belong to a dead woman, and a dead woman is not who Eileen wants to be.

"I have other Vanguard contacts," she says to Gillian instead, "who might be able to call in a few favours and get details on the demonstration Pinehearst has planned. I realize this is a street that goes both ways."

The mood isn't getting any better, but lightning doesn't crash and rain doesn't come down in sheets. There's some restraint— even if not full restraint. "It rarely does," Gillian admits quietly, closing her eyes for a minute. Everyone wants something, everyone needs an exchange of some kind. "It might have something to do with FRONTLINE, not sure that helps with anything, but… I don't really know. Seems a bit of a coincidence. Evolved military squadron gets approved, Pinehearst gets a government meeting just as they finished an injection that's supposed to make people get abilities. Fuck…" If it's a coincidence, it's a stupid one.

It's not much. Looking up at the sky, she hesitates a moment. Finding Gabriel's body is important to her, even if a memory echoes through her mind.

Let me go.

"I know Gabriel really isn't…" She trails off. Her responsibility. Someone she should be grasping after anymore. "Damn Teo for getting possessed," she mutters under her breath, as if it's easier to blame him for it, even if she doesn't really.

"Possession might not be the right word for it." A crab creeps over the toe of Eileen's boot and she gives her foot a little shake in an attempt to dislodge it. When that doesn't work, or at least not as well as it did with the cormorant, she crouches down and gingerly peels it off using the tips of her fingers. "He's still Teo," she explains, looking for a place to set the crustacean down as its legs pinwheel in slow motion, "just not our Teo."

What she eventually settles on is a small pool of brackish water nestled between two rocks with a bed of moss and wilting lichen at its bottom. Plop goes the crab. "Helena and the others aren't the only ones who came back from 2019, and I'm not talking about Edward Ray."

Toying with the wildlife isn't much Gillian's thing right now, even if she's managed to keep Chandra until she can find him a better home— maybe he'll become a Safehouse cat— he seems to like that. Her nose wrinkles a bit at the display with the crab, but she is more narrowing her eyes at the talk of Teo. Not their Teo, but still Teo. What does that mean?

The more she explains, though, the more things click into place a bit. "When I talked to him— We didn't talk for most of it. We were speaking telepathicly. I— when I found out what was going on, why we were… Fuck." That explains why he didn't sound different in his own head.

At least now she knows there's someone she can ask an important question to. Someone other than Helena.

"I should go. I snuck away to let you know what I found out— or didn't in this fucking case. Didn't want you to think I didn't try, either."

From where she's crouched, arms draped across her knees, hands swallowed by the sleeves of her hoodie, Eileen nods. "I didn't think you wouldn't," she says as though this might be some sort of strange consolation — or maybe a thank you. A moment later, her hands are braced against her knees and she's pushing herself back to her feet, mindful not to tip her balance too far in any one direction. If she's made the connection between Gillian and the worsening weather, it doesn't show on her face. Not much does. "You know how to find me if you need me."

For a moment, she can't help but wonder if she has no idea that her and Gabriel moved apart on unpleasant terms— cause that's a reason not to do what she's done, if anything is. "You know where to find me, too— most the time," Gillian says quietly, before nodding to the woman. Whether they share some similarities, the clouds can't help but darken a touch more, a hint of lightning tossing from cloud to cloud for an instant. The same instant she turns away, and starts to move quickly. She wants to get as far away from a place called the Arthur Kill as possible.

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