Enemy of My Enemy


huruma3_icon.gif melissa3_icon.gif gael2_icon.gif

Scene Title Enemy of My Enemy
Synopsis En route to Seattle and more distant locales, a former Moab inmate confronts one of the faces of the Company who put her there.
Date October 9, 2010

30,000 feet above Riverside, Iowa

It's not a terribly large plane that they've 'rented' so to speak- large enough so that it can carry a baker's dozen of passengers, maybe a few more, but small enough to classify as the craft it is being used for. Huruma's last trip on an airplane cross country was when Adam was making his rounds for the founders. Though sticky memories of Huruma's, she distinctly remembers that she quite hates flying. No particular reason for it, other than she'd rather be on a boat or on the ground. The last time, she curled up and brooded for most of the trip. This time hasn't been much different.

There was a bit of turbulence crossing into the midwest that sent Huruma- god forbid she have human qualities- shut herself in the plane's restroom. She's since come back out and dragged back to her seat, looking for all the world like she got mussed up by a rough tumble. She had a book out earlier, but now it's nowhere to be seen after she sits down and sinks into the back of the chair.

Melissa doesn't hate flying, but her last flight involved returning from the site where she first killed someone, so planes aren't exactly good for sparking pleasant memories for her. She's mostly remained in her seat, and a few minutes ago she drug her phone out, connected some headphones, and is wasting some time listening to some music, soft enough that it can't be heard by those sitting around her.

It's been a while since Gael's been on a plane, but he used to do it relatively often, and with no strongly jarring memories to go along with them— so it's come as an unpleasant surprise to him just how ill he's feeling today… he really should have quit drinking about a week earlier. He's leaning forward, visibly paler than when he boarded, pondering whether bringing along reading material would have made it better or worse.

Finally, the wave of nausea passes, or at least subsides for the time being, and he straightens up again for a look around. "You know," he offers to no one in particular, "we should have hired a flight attendant, too. I could use a glass of water." For that matter, he turns to give the lavatory door a long hard look.

Huruma takes a look at the various bodies either sleeping or keeping quietly to themselves- most of them seem to be sleeping- naps, more like. Only so much to do on a flight like this one. When the tall, vaguely familiar man speaks up, Huruma's white irises flicker over to look at him. He was introduced to her only by his name; she doesn't know anything else, apart from that Benjamin trusts him here. From that, she can safely assume it is likely he is- was- Company. Huruma's gaze flickers back towards the door, and returns to Gael. One long leg props over the other. "Not right now, you don't." The woman's voice is light, her accent thick even when she tries a ham-handed joke. "You don'want t'know what I had f'breakfast."

"You've got legs," Melissa says without opening her eyes. "Besides, flight attendants would probably talk, and we don't exactly want that now, do we…whoever you are," she says, cracking an eye open to peer at the stranger curiously. Unlike Huruma, she doesn't know anything about the man.

"You're probably right," Gael replies, nodding toward Huruma. Then, as Melissa pipes up, he blinks— did she actually take him seriously just now? But he decides it's probably his own fault, his usual facial expression and tone are probably off kilter. Instead, he merely offers a faint smile, making his way over to the bathroom just long enough to splash some water on his face and mop it up with a paper towel before he heads back. "I'm Gael," he introduces himself, offering a hand. "We should get acquainted, so we're not going 'hey you' once the actual mission starts."

Huruma snorts a little, a dry laugh tailing it. "I don'know, tha'may work in some cases- it is going t'be us- and Chinese nationals. I wonder who else we'd b'talking to." Just saying. Huruma sinks further into her seat, shoulders now leaning against the back and her hips near the end of the seat. Her boot drags a little on the floor, and one hand leaves the chair to brush over a mostly smooth head, darkened with the shadow of short hair.

"You were an agent?" Huruma doesn't look over when she speaks this time, preferring to watch the seat in front of her.

The hand is taken. "Melissa. And yeah, that'd just make a clusterfuck even more clusterfucky. Which we so don't need. Plus, any crazier and something might go way wrong and I won't make it onto that shuttle. And I'm damn well getting on that shuttle." Then she pauses as 'agent' is mentioned, and her eyes narrow slightly. "Company?" she asks, grip tightening on Gael's hand.

Again, Gael hesitates before answering. His own demeanor may be off a bit, but he can read Melissa's easily enough. "I was," he admits. Hopefully the fact that he's here will count for something against whatever bad experiences she's had with them before. "I was an agent once, more recently I've been working in administration." Up until August, anyhow.

"Mmm. Desk rat?" Huruma sounds amused. "How did you not go crazy?" Funny enough, it's her asking that of him. She only tilts her face far enough to peek at the two nearby, volume only enough to be heard. "If you are here, regardless, I shoul'think tha'means you are trustworthy." Her attention moves away again, passing over Ryans in one of the other seats, either napping or pretending to. Huruma can't quite tell.

"How long were you there?"

The hand isn't yet released. "You were Company, and now you're willingly working with the people you so recently worked to bag, tag and lock away in Moab?" And here her chin tilts up and slightly to one side, baring the injection mark from when Melissa was in said prison. A silent warning, maybe. "Don't you see that as a conflict of interests, or did everything change once the government turned on you guys just like they did us?" The last is asked in more a curious tone than anything else. She's not really trying to pick a fight. Honest.

Gael shakes his head. "Being a desk rat wasn't boring. Nothing's been boring, the past few years— if anything, it's the opposite extreme that pushed us toward the breaking point." Resuming his seat, he addresses the ex-prisoner frankly. "Melissa, is it? I didn't oversee your case directly, so I can't speak to the details… but I do know our agents. If you were in Moab, then one of them honestly believed you needed to be, for the safety of others." There's no edge to his voice; he's not trying to pick a fight, either. "But yes, circumstances do change— for me, and today I'm taking Rebel's word that they have for you, too."

Huruma doesn't do this on purpose.

Nah, just kidding, she does.

She listens to Melissa begin a slow ascent to Devil's Advocate herself, leaning her dark neck onto one palm, leaning into the arm of the seat. He's right. Circumstances change. Even for Huruma- some more recent than others, some having been in effect over the years and culminating in the last few years. The last time the Company had her, she escaped with PARIAH and Adam Monroe after barely a day- before that, she tore apart Ben's fresh partner. Hers is a very sordid Company history, but- Cruz is ultimately right. Huruma's lack of peanut gallery commenting is clear on that.

"Then your agents were fucking morons," Melissa says in a sugary sweet voice. "No one deserved to be in that hellhole, getting shot up with who only knows what. That place never should've existed. And someone who causes temporary pain is so not on the same level as some abilities out there." But she does release his hand now and sit back, tugging the headphones from her ears now, so she's not distracted by tunes.

"But I'm sure the agents who threw me in there so thought that temporary pain was as bad as people who can explode things with their mind, or kill with their mind or look like anyone they want."

While Gael may have some good points on his side, he is cherry-picking what he brings up, and he knows it. What he didn't mention was that some of those agents' honest beliefs were misguided, or in some cases downright— racist? speciesist? In any case, one of his least pleasant tasks was to rein them in before they made the situation worse. But breathe a word of it to Melissa, and she'd just claim that they were all like that.

"There are a lot of different types of bad," he says to her instead. "In the wrong hands— and I'm not saying yours were. But. In the wrong hands, that could be quite an effective form of torture. And many people who would stop short of killing… don't have the same reservations about 'merely' hurting."

"And there are a lot of people out there with rifles. Who says they'll stop short of killing deer and paper targets? And guns are lethal. I'm not. I didn't do anything to warrant the attention I got." Melissa smiles faintly. "Trust me, you're not gonna convince me that Moab was good. Or the Company. You may have done some good, but that organization wrecked a hell of a lot of innocent lives."

Gael sighs, leaning back and rubbing his eyes. "I'm well aware, actually. We didn't pretend to be white knights— just dealing with a bad situation, trying to prevent more lives from being wrecked." With that said, he leans forward and changes tack; the 'let's you and him fight' moment has gone on long enough. "The Institute… I can't say the same of them. I'm afraid the people at the rudder are more interested in running experiments than performing any sort of damage control."

"Common enemy, now." Huruma mutters from across the aisle, peering over her shoulder past the edge of her seat. "Whatever happened before- is nothing compared t'what they could choose t'do. That is why we all chose t'come, mm?" A gentle reminder, that's all. "Circumstances, all that jazz." Her shoulder shrugs upward an inch, and she looks away again.

"Oh don't even get me started on the Institute. I'd love to personally beat the shit out of everyone in control there," Melissa mutters, shaking her head. "And I know they're more interested in running experiments. And on that happy note, I'm gonna try to nap until we land. You kids have fun." The headphones are replaced, volume turned up, and she leans her head back before closing her eyes.

At that, Gael falls silent, letting the conversation die a natural death. She'll probably hurt some people herself in the course of the mission, people who did nothing except happen to work at a Chinese space facility - and she might just save a much larger number of people by doing so - but there's nothing to be gained by pointing any of that out. He turns his head toward the window, trying to take his mind off his stomach as it begins to act up again.

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