berlin_icon.gif lucille3_icon.gif ryans2_icon.gif

Scene Title Exposé
Synopsis Lucille has an illuminating evening…
Date October 6, 2018

Ben Ryans' Home

It’s been a hard few days for Nathalie, confusing and exposing. And violent. But there is sanctuary to be found in Ben’s home, in the books she’s collected there, in the work hidden there, in the family she’s been adopted into there. So it is that she makes her way in through the backdoor, letting out a relieved sigh as she shuts and locks the door behind her, slipping the key back into her pocket.

Pulling off her hat, she shakes out her hair and strolls into the kitchen. Hat and jacket are left behind on a chair as she browses through the cupboards. It isn’t even that she’s hungry, but rather, it has a ritual about it. Something to settle her.

"Amarok is the diversion and we're… being a diversion by blowing the unit on top of the dam up." Lucille is in the middle of telling her father of Operation High Road, bare hands animated and moving about when she's not holding and drinking from her beer. Her auburn hair which has grown considerably longer and tied back in a ponytail and eyes alight, she seems to be enjoying this. Sitting in her dark grays and blacks, her asymmetrical blazer sits on the back of her chair. Her neck clearly visible and that scar still not there, it's a wonder but Lucile often goes to rub at the spot it use to be, always checking to make sure she's not in a dream.

"One of the guys just turns into lava so naturally my ability had no effect. It was a helluv —" the woman stops as she hears the backdoor open and she perks up, "Huruma!" Standing to her feet and looking at her dad, it would make sense that he has random visitors with how sick he's been. "Come tell dad about High Roa —" she stops again as she spots her best friend in the kitchen.


Eyes flick to the cabinets, she's familiar enough with this place to just go into cabinets…? Lucille has never brought Berlin… "Burr..?" Lucille sets her beer down on the counter and looks surprised, "What are you.." then she apparently puts two and two together and her eyes narrow before she's looking over her shoulder. "Dad." he knows that tone because he's used it on Delia and Lucille their whole lives. "My best friend? …really? I know you're living your best life to the end but what in the actual fuck and you." Rounding on Berlin, "What in the fucking fuck is this?" Lucille is clearly confused at the sight of the young woman in her father's kitchen who she knows has the reputation of liking women younger than him, WHAT IN THE FUCK.

Where Lucille usually has chill and is calm and collected but in this moment she's thrown and it shows on her face. It's the only reasonable explanation, isn't it?

Benjamin Ryans has been sitting in stoney silence listening to his daughter talk about her adventures in Wolfhound. She had probably told it to him several times, but he indulges her, enjoying how animated she gets talking about her work. He remembers being that young and talking to his father like that.

The arrival of Nathalie, is not missed from where the old man sits, with Ruma sprawled out. He had more of a clue that someone was coming in, when the large maine coon, hops off his lap to go rub along Nathalie’s legs with a loud purr.

Lucille’s reaction actually gets a flat look. Really?

He doesn’t move to get up, but simply gestures to Berlin from where he is sitting. “Lu.” He gently snaps out to get her to calm a little. “This young woman is a guest in my house and is staying in the spare room.” There is a momentary pause, brows furrowing at the realization: “Wait. You know each other?”

Berlin doesn’t notice the others until it’s too late to slip away. Until she hears Lucille call out. She’s already giving the cat scritches by the time her friend is making her way in.

Hell,” is what she says, quietly but emphatically.

When Luce starts the strongly worded questions, Burr lifts her hands to try to calm her friend. The assumption that she makes, though, is enough to shock her into dropping them again. It’s only Ben’s realization that brings her back around.

“I— can explain,” she says, to the both of them. But she doesn’t right off. Despite the fact that she just had to go through this with Hana and Avi… it was different. They already knew, at least in part. Neither of these two had a clue. So she ends up looking between them, back and forth, while she works through how to begin.

“I was helping your dad.”

It’s the best she can do at the moment.

"This is my best friend, Berlin. She and I run with Colette. I've mentioned her. The youngest one of us, really capable, great loyal friend." several times in fact. Guest in the house? Okay they aren't sleeping together, she would go red if she wasn't so shocked still. Lucille rubs the inside of her arm and pulls at the material of her loose fitting shirt. Her breath comes steadily through her nostrils and she folds her arms loosely, staying at ease also not trying to throw her body language into any sort of aggression. She's confused. Taken for surprise. Weirded out.

"Help how? You have the cure for cancer in your back pocket?" It comes out a little more hostile then she would like and the regret shows in her face. "I'm rattled." That's the apology for the moment, the panic building in her body is distilled by the years of meditation and training she's put herself through, there's an explanation and Berlin is beginning to give it.

Benjamin’s features fall into a neutral, I’m too old for this shit, expression. Instead of really explaining himself, he moves around the girls looking for his whiskey bottle and a glass. Ruma follows him with a chirp meow and hops up on the counter looking for attention. As he passes Berlin, he motions to her to go ahead and explain. He doesn’t feel like this is his secret to tell.

As he listens, Ryans adds another glass, pouring one not just for him but…. He also slides a glass with a measure of whiskey towards his daughter..

At Lucille’s question, however hostile and sarcastic it is, Berlin glances to Ben. Does she have the cure for cancer in her back pocket?g She doesn’t answer until she gets that gesture from him, since the secret is sort of a shared one.

“Well,” she says, looking over to her friend again, “yes.”

Burr isn’t usually terse when it comes to Lucille. Other people, absolutely. But not with the best friend she ever had. So here, she’s only short to let her answer sink in. To let the fact that she’s serious sink in.

“There’s a bit more to my ability than I… told Wolfhound. Or anyone.” Except Ben, obviously.

The glass of whiskey is taken and Lucille gives her father a look, What the fuck. Before she's turning back to Berlin and her expression shifts, what? "Your ability?" Looking between her father and best friend quickly she stays silent and that tiny piece of information is tiny but important and it makes Lucille's eyes widen. A healer.

Have you come into contact with anyone that has a healing ability? She said no a million times it felt like, she said no in front of Berlin more than a few times as she accompanied her to the numerous appointments.

"Burr…?" The last syllable choked out, its not making sense but it's making sense. Right in front of her face. Tears well up in her eyes. She knocks back the whiskey and snatches the bottle to pour more in her glass.

There are no words from Benjamin, he knows when it is best to be quiet in the middle of a discussion. He leans against the kitchen counter, sips his whiskey, and waits for it to really click. When Lucille downs the drink in one swing, he pushed the bottle closer knowing her next move.

Look… she’s his daughter. Ben knows.

Oh no.

Seeing Luce with tears threatening brings a frown to Berlin's face. And she's stuck still, caught in the proverbial headlights. It takes until a second drink is on it's way down before she manages to figure out what to say.

"I hid it, but I should have found a way to tell you. It just always seemed… too late to explain," she says, tipping her foot to balance on the outer edge of her boot. "And I wasn't planning on ever using it, so I didn't think it would matter." Obviously, though, things changed somewhere along the line. With a woman she's come to see as family. "I'm sorry."

"But you did.. used it twice." No tears fall yet but the woman looks torn between breaking down and laughing, rubbing the scar at her neck. Lucille begins to say more until she sets the glass down on the counter and moves quickly towards Berlin, arms out and hands going to wrap around the younger woman and hug her close. The taller of the two stands there and holds Berlin for a moment, eyes closed and the trickle of tears on Berlin's forehead can be felt. "…Thank you. …thank you." A couple minutes go by as Lucille tries to grip this reality that is the one where her father is cured of cancer and is on great terms with her best friend a world class healer.

Finally she backs up from Berlin and places her hands on either shoulder while looking into her eyes, "Explain." It's said gently but with the way that Lucille says it and her body language it is an invitation for Berlin to unburden herself, she had been keeping secrets. She seemed seriously nervous about it coming out, healers were a hot commodity but so was/is Claire and she wasn't hiding. It didn't all connect for the woman and in the midst of the emotions she's in, the burning curiosity of why and how this has happened fills her.

There is a bit of a sigh - women and their emotions :| - and Benjamin leaves the girls to work out their stuff. Taking a moment to fill his glass - before his daughter downs it all — and adds a glass for Berlin. Yolo? Wasn’t that the young people’s term for it?

Glass in hand and cat in tow her father steps out of the kitchen and makes his ways towards the door to the basement.

Ben gets a grateful look for the whiskey, but Berlin only manages to get her hand on it before she’s wrapped up in a hug. It clearly isn’t the reaction she was expecting, as it takes her a few moments to relax into it. And to return it. “Don’t say thank you,” she says eventually, “I let you be scared to keep my secrets.” A choice she isn’t likely to forget.

There’s a glance toward Ben as he retreats, and as much as he deserves an explanation, too, she doesn’t call him back. He knows that dangerous people are after Nathalie, and he knows through Luce that Berlin has had a happier, less harried life. She trusts he can put two and two together.

And when she explains to Lucille, she starts off clinical, facts only. But because it’s Luce, by the time she’s gotten around to Project Obelisk and Joy and her own escape to Pollopel, she’s in tears as well. Tears held back for a lifetime. By the end, she’s only upright because of Lucille.

"You gave me.. us our lives back." Looking away to the cabinets the older woman closes her eyes. "It's complicated." She believes and trusts that much at least. It hurts but the joy of being healed and having a friend, no a sister that gave her that gift.

The tears keep flowing as she feels Nathalie, Nathalie that would take some getting use too, she thinks absently in the back of her head. The story of her life is more tragic than Lucille first then and she already thought it was tragic and sad before, "Ber-Nat- God I'm sorry."

It's all she can say. It's a unbelievable story. "You found your way into Wolfhound.. to track them." The people who did this to her. "The hospital with Julie.. oh god." More pieces are clicking into place. Lucille does in fact hold Berlin up, she bares that weight and sheds tears with her. For the life she shouldn't have had to live. Constantly on the run. Lucille feels that, relates to that having had to as well for a lot of hers but this is on a whole other level. Lucille also knows about the things inside her, since their visit at the hospital she's done she can to read up on Kazimi Volken and his ability of life-force manipulation. Taking a hand to Berlin's shoulder she squeezes in comfort and looks at her, "So you have to hear him.. all the time?" That's even more horrific.

“You can still call me Berlin. Nat isn’t quite out yet,” she says with a crooked smile. She leans back, but only enough to wipe at her face. It doesn’t get rid of the tears, but it helps. “He isn’t here all the time. It’s more like… impressions from him. It isn’t just him, but he held his for so long so he’s… more present.”

There’s that awkward thing, too, where Francois held the other one for just as long. She’ll deal with that later.

“There’s something else.” Berlin nods toward where Ryans retreated to. “Something Ben needs to show you. He needs our help.” Since she’s been benched, it’ll be more Lucille than her, for the near future. She takes Luce’s hand to lead her to the basement steps.

Already down in the basement, since Berlin knows the way. Benjamin is already standing in the war room, waiting for them to finish them talk. His glass of whiskey is sitting empty on the single desk in the middle of the room, having downed it as soon as he got there. Though the board is sparse, it’s at least filled out more than the day Berlin first learned of it herself.

Ben turns at the sound of their arrival and seems to be waiting for something. Possibly a berating from his daughter. Ruma is oblivious of it all, taking up a corner of the desk to sprawl on and look important and regal.

There's a small smile, "Burr it is."

A firm nod at the status of one, Kazimir Volken living in her best friend's head. "I see." Filing that in the back of her mind already at work at a way to help Berlin liberate herself from this. "There has to be a way to get—" she's cut short by Berlin grabbing her hand and pulling her after her father. When she gets to the space, she stops and blinks. Slowly her eyes travel along the walls, the photos. The desk. Then her eyes find her father's and she holds that stare as she steps forward fully into the room. Years ago she would have screamed at her father, never able to let things go.

She didn't understand him then, she didn't know what it meant to be so good at something that it was hard to leave it, or to love it rather. To breathe it. Lucille herself felt that now and so she comes to stand in front of Ryans, taking a moment to look st Berlin before uttering, "You've been busy."

She'll wait for him to explain.

After leading the way in, Berlin takes a backseat. She ends up leaning against the desk to pet Ruma, watching the other pair. Lucille will recognize Berlin's writing here and there, scattered among Ben's notes. "I told Hana and Avi that Ben would be a good person to call in when Wolfhound moves on Casper." Just so everyone knows what's about to happen. Although, she didn't note down the man's address. Probably because she didn't want Ben to charge in alone. "I'm on desk duty for the next couple months at least." She won't be along, but there's no hard feelings. She knows they can't wait that long for her to be cleared. And who knows if she even will be cleared at the end of her eight weeks.

Something she would rather not think about.

"Processing intelligence," she says, dryly, as if this were a truly cruel punishment. But obviously, it's a task she enjoys.

“Mostly, cause I am one of his victims.” Benjamin steps aside so she can see the network of strings and notes about the company, looking glass, and her brother??? Why was there a death date under his childhood picture? “I started learning in the last several months how much of my memory has been stripped from me.” He’s told her stories of watching people being mind wiped, but never really commented on his own. Looking at it, it start to be clear that this is possibly an attempt to figure out that missing time.

He pulls a necklace from his collar, a wrapped penny dangles from the end, which is them pulled over his head with one hand and handed to this eldest daughter. “What you see there, is a record of… more years then I know. Casper’s ability takes memories and places them on objects, his favorite is pennies. I can only assume this holds memories from the time I manifested my ability, up until Arthur stripped me of it, and possibly beyond that.” he had no idea really, when each event fell, except for Bradley’s death. “I’ve learned a lot in three memories, who knows how much information is on there.”

Benjamin’s attention turns to the board, “She’s been helping me try to figure out a timeline for things, but I need Caspar. I need to see if he can put all of that back,” As those last words tumble out, Lucille can tell there is an underlying rage there. Even though he knew they took memories, what they did… it was unforgivable to the old man.

Desk duty, that won't do. Shaking her head although she understands.. "So basically it's Christmas for you?" A hint of a smile though it's a sad one, though they don't get to do too many field ops together besides running together to gather intel through their sources, she knows that Berlin is beyond capable and now even.. well almost their most deadly member on the team. Certainly. It gives Lucille pause for a moment as she assess her best friend under new eyes, not that she couldn't present a problem for Lucille before because before this she is an capable and resilient Operative but now.. there is that extra thing.

Tucking that away "Thank you.. for watching his back." Another small smile for her friend, always looking out for Lucille even indirectly, she was truly family now. Even to her dad clearly at this point. Also.. there was going to be so much to unpack here but for now, with redden eyes she adopts the manner at work, or tries too at least before her father is dropping bombs on her like it's the war.

A slow burn of anger uncoils from her as she reads the notes.. Looking Glass? The Company.. her brother.. her father's words. Lucille is silent as she takes it in and calmly walks up to the picture of her brother, "It's why I was here anyway, to ask you about him and look at this.." he's already been on his trail. That's.. ironic. The taking of memories and how is not new to Lucille but she nods nonetheless, "We have an address, I was going to present it to Hana and Avi. You should come." Looking now at Ryans, her implication of how far he should is evident. "We need to grab him." This was personal.

"What did you learn?" Turning her head again to stare at Bradley's face with a visible frown on her face now that her back is turned. What in the fresh hell was this?

“It was my pleasure,” Berlin says to Lucille, her hand coming over to squeeze her friend’s. There’s not much she wouldn’t do for her, and now that extends to her father as well. She didn’t mean to, but it was easy to feel like family in this house and once it happened, she couldn’t let it go.

Before coming to Ben Ryans’ door, she would have told anyone who asked that she was just fine without a family.

“Avi and Hana are open to it, I think. To Ben being a part of the retrieval.” The way she says retrieval, it’s like she doesn’t expect them to bring back much at all. After what Peyton saw, after what he’s done to Ben and who knows how many others. As for what Ben learned, she falls quiet on that, turning her attention toward the fluffy cat weaving between her legs.

What did he learn? Benjamin sighs out heavily through his nose at the question, looking at the board. “Enough to question who I am, but at the same time not enough, but not enough to know who I was,” his voice rumbles loud in the room, even though he is speaking softly.

He start then, from the beginning, “It all started when Eve Mas came to see me…” His words are measured and steady as he explains the events in a clinical manner. Like he is reading out what he knows about a case, like it isn’t even his life. Eve’s vision, taking the SESA agent to the cemetery… finding the penny and so on. The one moment, there is a threat of his vistage cracking, is when he talks about the memory of Bradley’s dead.. Of being married to his mother. “It had been like I was living it all over again,” he explains after his voice catches. “Somehow, Baumanns ability reacts to Casper’s in a weird way, but I digress.”

Taking a deep breath, he continues the tale. When he’s finished, he sighs a little. “At least, we know why all of you kids ended up evolved,” he gives his daughter a bit of a lopsided smile. Faint, but there.

As Ryans recounts his lost memories, Lucille has to find a seat. Slowly backing up and away to settle herself and listen with wide eyes to him speak. Her brother.. not from here.. the original dead.. the marriage? Her mother and father's marriage? The ability?! It's a bit much for her and she can't help but allow tears to fall in mourning for the life he should have had, how different things would have been. "Oh dad.. I'm.." there are no words and the silence lays heavy and thick in the air.

"You were obviously more than your ability. Nothing could hold you back." She doesn't son openly or loud but close. He had risen up the ranks in the Company, the people who did this. The people who robbed her father and ruined their lives in a way. Every way. All of those times she was angry at him for being so dutiful, the months without talking, the fights. "I have an address, of the man who did this."

Berlin doesn’t have much to add during the explanation. She’s been over the information in this room time and time again. So she comes to put a hand on Lucille’s arm. A bit of support. What the Company did to her father— to her whole family— it’s a lot to take in. That they kept him working for them for decades after just shows how deep the cruelty went in that organization.

When Luce adds her own piece of the puzzle, Berlin can’t help a small smile, just a crooked tick giving away that she is a bit eager for this man to get what’s coming his way. From the evidence in this room, from what Peyton saw of him in the now, he deserves far worse and has for a long time.

There is a small smile at Lucille’s words and he even moves to give her a comforting hug.

But, as she talks about the intel she has… a stillness fall over Benjamin. He thought the search for Casper was going to be a long drawn out one. Ryans had been planning to visit Alice again, see what else she had leaned, but -

There is a look that goes to the board and the image of Casper from their years with the company. “Well, then… This changes things.” For once, since he first learned of those lost memories… the old man feels some hope. Pulling away, he rest hand and arm on her shoulders, giving his daughter a searching look, unreadable. “Tell me what you know.”

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