Enough Of That Metaphor


cardinal_icon.gif cat_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title Enough Of That Metaphor
Synopsis Ruminations on whether or not a torch was passed, and what condition it might be in.
Date June 27, 2010

Wickenburg Municipal Airport, Wickenburg, AZ

Having picked the buildings clean of anything that might be of interest, the trio are headed back across open desert toward the more populated parts of Maricopa County, AZ. It's dark, near midnight Mountain Daylight Time, and Cat is quiet. She might have seen the Coyote Sands camp sign in the rear view mirror and acquired that memory, if it weren't so dark. It's likely not lit in any way.

The trip is short, terminating at the Wickenburg Municipal Airport where the charter aircraft they came by is still waiting. She parks the vehicle as close as possible to that spot and climbs out. Her white clothing is marked with dirt and sweat including salt traces from the exertion of digging out graves and having been in the heat most of the day without air conditioning's benefit. It's entirely possible she plans to eschew conversing until they're safely in the seating area of the craft with no one else around.

The company agent has been quiet as well — what she's proposed to do is weighing heavy on her mind, and the logistics of getting from point A to point B is harder to map out in her mind than the proposed plan. A typical case of 'easier said than done,' given her mouthy attitude of late in meetings and specifically aimed at Harper. But, she hasn't been a favorite of Crowley's, and that might work in her favor. She just has to wriggle into Harper's favor.

Pulling out her cell phone, she scrolls through missed messages as the trio stride toward the plane. "Feel like we've been passed a torch that has only about an inch of handle left," she mutters.

"You're an optimist, Sawyer? Never would've guessed it…" The heavy duffle bag that Cardinal brought with him is shrugged over his shoulder as he crosses the tarmac along towards the plane, his head shaking slowly as the lights of the airport reflect off his shades, "…here I thought the glove was already on fire."

"I'd say neither is the case," Cat mutters as she strides along, "more correct is the torch was dropped on the ground and we're looking at the damned thing, getting a set of tongs to pick it up with." Eyes settle back on the aircraft, she opines "It'll be early when we land. Gonna suck for you if you need to be at work in the morning, V. But it's comfortable, sleep can be had." Beer and food too. No matter who owned the plane and flew it from the point of origin to here, she made certain arrangements. It's a Cat thing; the people who flew to Russia with her were treated to first class travel.

"All right, enough of that metaphor," Veronica says dryly. "Yeah, I work tomorrow. And I apparently have to start making nice with the enemy to start greasing the wheels toward that transfer if I want it. It'll be a long process or else he'll be suspicious," she says quietly, all the things on her mind during the drive from Coyote Sands. At the plane, once it's opened, she climbs in, throwing her own bag of supplies and the canister of film onto a seat before finding her own, buckling up.

The beer has gotten a disapproving look - and some comments - from Cardinal, who has strong feelings about mixing alcohol and flying, even if one's only a passenger. "We'll need to get that film respliced, see if we can get anything from it," he say, stowing his duffle bag safely, "Chances are it's nothing, but, can't hurt."

Metaphor is dropped like the torch they spoke of, thereby creating a simile, as Cat enters the aircraft and goes about securing the door. "It won't be hard to do, or expensive," she states with the apparent desire to handle it and belief she'll do so. "Getting on Harper's good side isn't the only way in," Cat remarks, "there are people working there who can be grabbed and led to see the light." Once the door is sealed, she settles into the seat her gear was placed next to and leans back, eyes closing. "It's good I work out, or that digging would have my whole body on fire right now."

If only it were that easy to grab and reform. Veronica just shrugs a shoulder at Cat's mention of other ways. Breaking in with the help of someone else might work, but she doesn't trust that many people in this world not to lead her astray. "Just do me a favor, and if shit hits the fan, vouch for me if I'm still on the inside of the Institute. Or else help me out of the country when the time comes," she says quietly, turning her head to the window, looking at the tarmac on the other side.

"I'll make sure you're extracted with all the rest of my people," Cardinal promises as he walks the length of the cabin to do a quick check through the place — to the point of looking into all the cabinets and checking under the seats for explosives. He was taught to fly by Fedor, after all. "Don't worry about that."

Her head tilts, eyes moving across both man and other female present, as a decision is made. Neither of them asked who she meant, and so Cat opts not to elaborate further on it. There will be time in the near future for such things after she's checked in at home. "I've no intention of leaving you behind, V. Even if you get found out and made a prisoner. Helping to plan and retrieve people in that situation is just one of the things I do." A dead lover's image enters the mind's eye, her own taking on a haunted quality. She has issues with leaving people behind, even when necessary.

"One of your people, huh," Veronica says with a smirk, glancing toward Cardinal. She nods her thanks, first to him, and then to Cat. "Thanks." The words Cat speaks draw a frown from the agent, and gives a little chuckle. "That might be what happens. You pretty much painted the picture I saw for myself for November 8th, though maybe I get myself arrested for something else altogether. Hard to tell." She speaks of the vision lightly — after all, any number of things might crush any number of butterflies and change everything between now and that fateful day.

"The future's been tossed into a blender and put on frappe," Cardinal observes, glancing back and down the cabin with a slight frown as he straightens from checking the fire extinguisher, "Chances are, most of that stuff… just isn't going to happen, so don't worry about it too much. I am working on compiling it, but I don't think you need to focus on it."

"The bigger question," Cat muses, "is the common thread in those visions. Riots on November 8th and what causes them. One thing that comes to mind is it's the Institute's version of Kristallnacht, using the anniversary of Midtown explosion to justify steps which solidify control and boost support for it. Nazi references still apply, since once again we're dealing with a piece of the Vanguard." Her pack is opened and a few things are taken out, among them fresh clothing.

"I don't think those events will take place on that day, now — it'd be pretty stupid to do so on the day that's now expected. But the underlying causes are still the problem. As far as my own vision, well, I seem to be pursuing it pretty head-on. A smarter person would be fleeing for Cana— make that Mexico," Veronica says with a shake of her head. "At any rate, I'll let you guys know if I make it in — but don't tell everyone and their brother or it'll get out."

"I won't tell anyone. I'm sure Cat won't, too, given that the Ferrymen network has been compromised…" Cardinal rubs a hand to the nape of his neck, his head shaking a little bit, "I'm still gathering bits and pieces of the vision. I don't have enough to build a map, yet, but we're working on it."

"The dates for things like that probably can't be changed, if they're being engineered," Cat opines somberly. "The whole point of the timing would be use of that anniversary to fan the flames. Trying things for another timeframe won't have the same impact, lead to the same frenzy of violence. One thing is certain in all this: the Institute was fishing for information on what the future holds in grabbing Gillian and Joseph Sumter." Meanwhile, internally, she's fuming over the network compromise and hearing about it again from Richard Cardinal just a day after getting the same from Rupert Carmichael.

"I don't know what the leak source is," she mutters. "But there are ways to find out."

"Ferry compromise?" Veronica echoes, glancing from one to he other. "Another one? Please tell me it's not related to the Institute." She pulls out an iPod, usually used while running her five miles through the park or on the treadmills at Fort Hero, but she might use it tonight to try to drown out the thrum of the aircraft as she tries to catch a few winks of sleep.

"I understand that you recently got a bunch of people back who were taken by the Institute, didn't you?" Cardinal's brows raise slightly as he looks to her seriously, "Doc Carpenter's one of the people in their custody, to point out, so those people… might not actually be who you think they are." A shrug, "Or maybe they've just paid someone off."

"That chance has occurred to me," she replies quietly. "It also occurs to me there might not be a leak at all, but instead the predictive talents of Edward Ray telling them where to look and when to move. Electronic indications of information being given away, however, could simply be a tactic meant to cause discord. Even the process of searching for a source risks damage."

Veronica pulls her cell phone out, checking email and the like. It might be a little chancy to have a trackable phone on her, but then, she's trackable via isotope. She begins to type a reply to something, glancing up at the others, listening but with little to add to the talk of Ferry activity.
Public> Definitely Maybe> Quinn says, "I have a long, torid history with typoese"

A somewhat dubious look is directed to Cat, and then Cardinal shakes his head, turning, "…alright, well, good luck there. Guess we're ready to hit the air."

"What else have you got, Mr. Clemens?" Cat inquires, "since it seems you do." Eyes rest on him with curiosity and expectation as she takes the portions of seat belt and fastens them in the standard way.

Glancing up from her Blackberry, Veronica smiles at Cardinal. "I've had just about enough of the desert, I don't know about you two. I never thought I'd be happy to return to New York," the Company agent says — though happy is a relative term. There is quite a bit ahead she isn't looking forward to. Pulling her iPod buds up to her ears, though she doesn't turn on the device just yet, Veronica nods to the pilot. "Fly us on home, Redbird."

"Ray's ability isn't omniscience, Cat, you need to feed him information to work off of," Cardinal says with a shake of his head, turning to head up front, "Get some sleep. I'll let you know if we run into any delays."

"I remember perfectly well what Edward does and how, but that's not entirely what I meant," Cat replies, "I was referring to general information about the various players in all of this." Eyes close, as she lapses to silence, leaving a large question unspoken. How much are they willing to share in the presence of Veronica Sawyer?

"Thanks," Veronica says, turning the device on, and leaning her head against the window. She won't find sleep for some time — of the five hour flight, she'll sleep no more than one, but she uses the music to block out the noise of engine and voices, to let herself wrestle with her own inner demons to the beat of a rock sound in her ears.

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