barbara2_icon.gif brian_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif lucille3_icon.gif

Scene Title Exposure
Synopsis The Ferry assesses the situation on the other side of the river.
Date December 5, 2011

Pollepel Island, Bannerman's Castle

The battlements of Bannerman's Castle are the highest point for miles. It's an ideal place to stand on a still day and watch birds wheeling lazily through the sky, or the river carve its path through the rolling countryside on the other side of the water. Even when the weather turns, it's rare that someone isn't acting as a lookout from one of the parapets, swaddled against the blustering wind and rain.

It's raining now, but for the first time in the history of the island there is no need to bundle up to protect small, vulnerable bodies from the December chill. Water slants off the top of the forcefield that contains the island and runs off into the river below. On the other side of the dome, trees bend and sway, and the last of the autumn leaves float like fat sparrows through the sky. Inside, the air is still, almost as though time has stopped.

For those standing on the battlements now, it certainly feels like it.

On the other side of the river sits a military encampment. Soldiers dressed in grays and olive greens mill about by the water's edge. It's dark now but the fires burning in the camp glint off metal rifles and the large, hulking silhouettes of tanks shining brightly in the rain.

Eileen stands at the edge of the parapet, her gloved hands clutching the stone barrier tightly enough to make the leather creak between her fingers. She has no access to the birds darting between the trees on the other side of the forcefield and cannot accurately estimate the number of enemy soldiers waiting for the castle to lower its defenses even though the knitted, pensive expression on her face suggests that she's trying to make that assessment anyway. The calculations are happening behind her eyes.

Eileen isn't the only councilwoman who walks the battlements today. Barbara Zimmerman purses her lips as she stares out at the forcefield that looms over them. She knows better than to bother Eileen in this moment. But she had wanted to see it for herself, this high up. She needed to see what was waiting out there for them. She purses her lips, her hat adjusted on her head.

Watching the rain would almost be serene, all things considered, under better circumstances. Even now she finds it oddly calming, eyes moving up from the entrenched military forces to the sky just long enough to the hint of a smile to her face. It doesn't last.

A glance is offered towards the other councilwoman's direction, and then back out ahead. Hands clasped behind her back, she finally starts to make her way over towards the younger woman. She doesn't speak. She doesn't need to. They both know what kind of a situation they're in right now.

Boots clap against the hard stone of the battlements, there's a hurried pace in the gait. Something intentional, something purposeful in the steps. It's not a normal walk. Brian Winters has arrived on the battlements with the determined pace of a man who has something to say. Marching along the battlements the intention and determination fades as Brian Winters gets his sights on his target.

Pausing he looks down at Eileen and Barbara. There were things to say. But now…

Rifle slung over his shoulder, this body happened to be on guard duty. He saw the forcefield go up through the scope of the bolt action rifle. With the pandemonium having already ensued, Brian had marched in force to find the source of his ire. But now, with his eyes falling upon her, his roll can be considered slowed.

With a practiced caution, he walks down the rest of the battlements towards the two women. Going to join them in turning to look across the river in silence.

Just as she began to accept this island and this place as her somewhat home this happens. Lucille Ryans stands not to far from Eileen and Barbara and Brian, her auburn hair hangs free and she tucks some of it behind a ear as she stares up at the dome before settling her gaze on the military outpost across from them. Eyes narrow and she feels that burn deep in her belly. The one that her father has warned her to not let consume her. Combat boots click on the stone as she shifts her feet and leans on the battlement surveying the area.

The well of emotion inside of the young woman threatens to rise and burst out of her at the sight of these pigs coming to this safe place. Thoughts of Ryans, Nicole and Huruma circle her mind. Equal worry and relief for her family outside of the dome fills her as well.

Her teeth pressed together she hisses out, “Fuck.” to herself and puts a hand in her black jeans pocket.

Eileen lifts her hands off the barrier and plucks at the fingers of her gloves, loosening them before she removes them from her hands and slaps them, once, twice, three times against the inside of her palm. Her skin has gone white, her knuckles sharp, veins standing out against her wrists and the pale flesh of her soft, inner arm.

She's glad that Lucille has broken the silence. It means she doesn't have to.

"You can say it if you'd like," she tells Brian, and what she means is: I told you so. Why he and Samara are still here she doesn't know; if he listens closely, he might detect an echo of guilt in her voice, which sounds much more raw, more human than usual.

Pollepel is exposed. So is she.

Barbara glances over towards Lucille, having not expect anyone from her family short of Benjamin Ryans himself up on the battlements. That doesn't mean she's unwelcome, though, Barbara offering the smile she had given the rain over towards her. Inclining her head slightly, she rises a hand to her chin.

A look to Brian, and then back to Eileen - one of the two reasons she was up here to begin with. She had a feeling she knew she would be out here, and there was little they could do to discuss how. Only what next remained. Now isn't the time still, it seems. "I'm not really sure it's worth it at this point." Whatever it is that needs to be said.

Those words often have their power taken away when they're invited. Whether or not he told her so, and however invited it may be, Brian has nothing to say immediately. The trace of guilt in her voice is noted. Which brings the grey eyes sweeping over Eileen. Investigating. Making sure he heard what he thought he heard. Watching her for a beat, his gaze then flicks back across the river.

Watching the distant figures over the waters, Winters remains silent, going to slide the rifle oof his shoulder into one hand. Going go lean it against the barrier, his elbows are set on the edge of it as he leans over the side. Lowering his shoulders his attention goes to the other two women only briefly.

Clasping his hands together, Brian listens at least initially.

Her eyes are still on the men across the way as the two women speak. Her ears perk as she hears Eileen’s tone. Lucille doesn’t know the woman extremely well at all but her father’s good standing has allowed her to be in the same room as the other young woman. Her lips press into a tight line and she flicks a look to Eileen out the corner of her eyes. Turning her head towards the woman she juts her head out towards the government’s soliders.

“You can’t see the future.” is said to the Polish woman simply. She stretches her arms behind her standing on her tippy toes as she gives the three assembled to her left a look, she feels bad for these people because they have worked so hard to make it work, to keep these people on this island safe.

Now it seems it was all for naught.

"I'm not much of an optimist," says Eileen, "but let's choose to look at it this way: Heller's within striking distance." She tucks her gloves into her coat pocket and fishes out a battered package of cigarettes. "And he's not the only one waiting out there."

To keep her hands from shaking, she goes through the familiar motions of selecting a cigarette from the package and pinching it between her lips. A flick of the lighter and it's soon smoldering there. Eileen takes a drag. "Our radios still work," she says at the end of a long exhale, billowing smoke like some sort of small, milky dragon. Her eyes gleam green in the dark. "Gitelman— the little one, she can reach out to the others. Richard Cardinal. Messiah's leftovers. Ethan Holden and Gabriel Gray. We send a distress signal."

The list those they can turn to is short, and full of many Barbara would rather not associate the Ferry with, particualrly not in times in like this. Desperate times, as they say. "Distractions?" Barbara asks, a sidelong glance given to Eileen. She hadn't considered the possibility of outside interferance. She felt a bit short sighted, in the moment. "Or a means to fight back when we cannot…" she adds after a moment. She looks thoughtful, finger scratching at her chin before lets her arm fall back to her side.

"It would certainly make whatever we choose to do next that much easier," she considers, hands clasped back behind her again. "I hear there was a… creature in Cambridge." It might sound teasing, but she's entirely serious. Who knows, after all. "Do we have a headcount on anyone not here on the island yet?"

A laugh is let out. Can't see the future. Brian's head sways to the side. "No she can't." He agrees firmly. But others could. It is in his tone if not his words. His knuckles go white on each other as Eileen goes over the positives of the situation. Samara and him were still on the island for the health of the newborn baby. Making sure little Ali was fit for the road. And now he's cut off from the vast network of himself outside the island.

"If I was me.." He pauses, glancing back at them to make sure they all get what he's trying to say. "Out there. I'll probably be coming to investigate what's going on soon. I had others in the city. They'll be coming to figure out what's going on. And.." He streightens, giving a shrug. "Knowing myself, odds are I try to intervene in some way." He looks out once again at the men across the river. "I can't match hundreds of men." Yet. "But I bet if I pushed it I could send in a squad of fifty at them somewhere. May want to try and contact.. me. To coordinate something."

"If I haven't already I'm sure I'll be on my way here. And sending out a distress signal myself to parties that may be able to help."

He watches Eileen for a long moment, and it seems like for an instant he may snatch the cigarette from her mouth. Though his gaze turns in the oppositte direction, his body relaxing.

As for the comment on the creature. Brian gives a light nod. "His name is Bao-wei. I'm not sure if he got out or not."

“Fuck hand me one, I’ll trade you.. ” she thinks on what she can offer Eileen and she shrugs. “A favor.” Favors are valuable in this game she’s found herself in. Ruffling her hair in the back she stares at Eileen as she speaks nodding her head. “Noa,” she says in lieu of ‘little one’ the irony of Eileen calling anyone the little one is not lost on the biokinetic but she doesn’t let that amusement show on her face instead giving a glance over to Brian.

“Fifty yous and that Gabriel.. Gray guy..” she’s heard only stories and they are all pretty horrific.

The corner of Eileen's mouth curls at Brian's barb, showing a sliver of tooth. Not a smile. The irony does not elude her. She lowers the cigarette and holds it out in front of her, testing the stillness in the air, which is as static as it feels. Under any other circumstances, the embers would go out. Instead her cigarette continues to leak a thin stream of smoke.

She offers Lucille the package. "Fifty's a decent start," she agrees. "Let's hope Winters' predictions are better than mine."

To Barbara: "No count yet, though there's someone here who shouldn't be. First Cambridge. Now Amtullah. We need to find out who that is."

Barbara's eyes narrow, her expression darkening. She feels a personal feeling of guilt and shame welling up in her at the mention of their traitor. It had been her job to look into that particular matter, and even with what help she had enlisted, it hadn't happened fast enough. She closes her eyes, giving a shallow nod to Eileen. "Double down on looking into it." She takes a deep breath. "No need to be secretive about it now, at least. We're all here now, weather we want to be or not."

She looks to Brian. "You're cut off from… yourself as well?" She lets out a hrmm sound. "I wasn't terribly in the loop when this happened before. I didn't realise it was so thurough."

"Gillian could charge me but…" He looks up at the dome slanting the water off and down into the water. "I'm guessing her surge wouldn't go to the bodies I have out there." He motions with his chin to the other side. "If it did." He lets out a light sigh. "I've been getting stronger. It would help even the odds, at least." He turns to Barbara, nodding quickly. "Can't access any of myself off this island. Not the first time its happened, but it is never enjoyable."

He falls silent as his eyes slowly roll over to Eileen. His features start to relax as he openly watches her. "You know." Eyes glide as the smoke sails and whisps through the air. "After the vision." He turns, shoulders squaring on the smaller woman. "I told you we were attacked in it. At the end." He purses his lips. "You never asked what attacked us."

A nod is thrown the woman’s way as Lucille takes the package and digs her lighter out of her pants. Old habits die hard. She lights the cancer stick blowing the smoke out the corner of her mouth. Handing the package back over, “Thanks.” As the the words come out about a traitor her eyes darken and she looks from Barbara to the other councilwoman. “There’s a rat.” Her days running with Lexi and Seamus influencing her position on snitches but really nobody likes a tattletale. She wants to help sniff it out.

At the mention of Brian being cut off from his other selves she furrows her brow and nods her head towards the forcefield. “I doubt I could feel anyone’s pulse through the barrier.. No effects from my ability.” She flexes her hand as she speaks. As speaks of the vision that people on the island have been whispering about causes her to give pause as she takes another drag from the cigarette. She doesn’t have much experience besides Lexi’s ability with precognitive visions and the like.

"I didn't have to ask you." Eileen taps ash off the tip of her cigarette. "I saw the fucking pictures." Tore them up, too. Cast them into the fire, even knowing that they wouldn't stay there — because prophecies don't burn.

"The valknut is Norse." She crinkles her nose at Brian and looks like she might spit. The sparrow hidden under her coat's heavy collar gives a worried trill. "So if you're implying what I think you are, you'd better not be."

Barbara tilts her head towards the sparrow. She had been secretive because she didn't want word to get out, but she also didn't want things to seem like a witch hunt. And now, there was going to be a hunt no matter what. "The only thing we should be implying," she offers as she crosses her arms, "is that what our next move is. Anything else, at this point… done is done." She coughs, though not because of the cigarette smoke. The still air bothers her more than the chilly wind did. She frowns, looking to them, and then turning to start down the battlements. "I'll be inside when we're ready to figure that out."

"I wasn't talking about the valknut. And yes. I know you saw the pictures you made sure you were the only one that did." As tensions grow higher, Brian at least outwardly grows cooller. His body relaxing, his tone evening out. He leans over the barrier of the battlements looking over the river. He gives a light shake of his head. "You still don't ask."

"Why shouldn't I be? Because you've given so much? Because you hurt for this cause?" He splays his hands out towards the rest of the castle, the people living inside of it. Many of whom have lost everything already. Or given everything already.

He squares on the smaller woman. "In the vision. I had to shoot everyone to get them out of the dream. Because they were being ripped apart by birds." He glances over to the forcefield and to the soldiers outside it. "But you're right. Sometimes a dream is just a dream." He shoves off the battlements and starts to make his way across them the same way Barbara left.

The Ryans woman’s eyes widen a bit at Brian’s outburst. She can’t remember seeing Brian like that ever in the time that she’s known him, as he spills details of the vision she looks again at Eileen with a tilt of her head. The councilwoman had ample warning it’s sounding like and though Lucille doesn’t know how that all works she’s surprised that Eileen would ignore such a warning, she seems to be the kind of person to take warnings and plan accordingly. Maybe Lucille was wrong.

As Brian walks off towards where Barb goes Luce puffs on the cigarette more and she turns her gaze back on the army across the river. Her gaze hardens again and she blows the smoke out of her nose. “They’re the problem.”

Whatever storm had been gathering inside Eileen is abruptly extinguished when Brian answers the question she had been too afraid to ask.


He's showing her his back when her face falls and what little rosiness there is drains out of her cheeks. Later, maybe, she will be grateful that Lucille is the only witness to the hollow expression that settles there.

She is aware, then, of her pistol, heavy in the holster inside her coat, because her fingers twitch toward it. Instinct again. It takes a conscious effort to remind herself that Brian is not the enemy and smooth that same hand across her chest, making it look like she might just be tending an itch and not veering away from shooting someone in the back.

"Let's hope so," she says to Lucille, but only after Brian and Barbara have gone.

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