Five Banquets a Day


claire4_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif lene_icon.gif ygraine2_icon.gif

Scene Title Five Banquets a Day
Synopsis Lene brings a motley amount of food, glorious food, to the Endgame safehouse, meeting two more of its inhabitants.
Date April 9, 2011

Skinny Brickfront

Outside, the sun setting throws a red glow upon the buildings; the red brick of the safehouse seems to burn with a fire as does the artificial red of Lene's hair as she heads up to its door. Once more her arms are full of bags — this time nothing as wholesome as the groceries she brought on her last visit. Today it's a motley array of fast food: A box of pizza in one hand is used to balance a bag of Piccoli's deli, a bag of McDonalds, a bag of Taco Bell, and a pink bakery box. The other hand holds tight to a bag of probably Chinese take out, given the red "Thank You" printed on the generic bag and the way it's tied around red boxes that appear pink through the not-quite-opaque plastic.

Finally, and most importantly, a bag that clanks — bottles, and likely alcohol.

Once again, she uses her foot to knock lightly against the door. "It's meeee."

Elisabeth keeps very close tabs on the sounds of the building — except when Trask is too close. He's not at the moment, so the sounds of Lene's approach are not missed. By the time the girl reaches the door, the blonde is already there opening it. "Woman… it's a derelict building," she mumbles, though her blue eyes fix on the Chinese cartons avidly. "You're bringing food for an army." She takes a couple of the boxes to help free up Lene's hands a little and closes the door behind her. "Everyone's upstairs." As if that's not known.

Upstairs, a shivering Ygraine has just finished drying herself off after a cold-water shower, dabbing cautiously at her bicep - tender after her latest bout of subterranean exploration. But the sound of movement and voices from down below encourages her to stop poking at her complaining injury and set about hauling her boots on. Whatever's going on, it's better than being cold, alone and sore. Or so she hopes.

"I didn't know what everyone would want and I wanted to get something everyone would like, and most of it will keep at least a few hours," Lene explains, glancing up and tipping her head slightly, listening with narrowed eyes.

She rests a chin on top of the pizza box as she follows Liz in, and moves to the stairs. "I got the half and half cookies from that one bakery that everyone swears by," she says conversationally. "Along with about a million other things that are probably too fattening to even look at, let alone eat, but I think everyone in this house could stand to gain a couple of pounds unless we're all trying to look like the models in those ads from the 80s where they look like malnourished POWs."

Elisabeth chuckles softly. "Well, I make a mean pot of soup, but… yeah, the supplies are a bit scarce right now, that's for sure." Money tight too, though she doesn't comment on that — they do have some, it's just that the cash has to be stretched a long way. "C'mon." She leads the way up to the interior room that the group has sorted out as a common gathering area. There's not much to it. A table and some chairs around the makeshift kitchen area that has several hot plates and a coffee pot. "Guess it's a good thing I put in a few pounds over the last months," she admits. "I can stand to lose 10."

"I can't, really", Ygraine's voice comes, the Briton swinging through the door after clumping rapidly down the stairs. "I've only just got close to the level I was at before the Dome. Which was far over my competition weight, of course." Her gaze is very much fixed on the stranger, however, rather intently studying her.

It's the sound of voices that finally pull Claire Bennet from whatever hermit-ing she's been doing, brows furrowed she inches the door open a little. A blue eye peaks out from lengths of fake brunette, listening. After a moment of consideration, fingers tapping on the edge of the door, the former regenerator steps out of her room. She's wearing a white button up shirt and faded jeans, much more stylish then what she had been wearing in the last year or so. Her dark hair ever seem to have a touch of style in the form of light curls. "Keep the bean burrito's away from the guys." It's a touch uncertain, but there is still a smile on her lips.

"I think we'll all thank you." Claire glances at the bags and that smile pulls a little more to one side. "Any Broccoli and beef in that chinese food?"

"You're all gorgeous women and would look just as good fat," Lene says with a smirk that's maybe a little plastered on, standing just a little too long in one place as her eyes move from Claire to Ygraine before heading in to dump all the food on the table.

"I have… broccoli beef and orange chicken and chow mein, and from the Indian place next door to the Chinese place, a bit of masala in that bag," she says, jabbing a finger toward the white bag with the generic "thank you" printed upon it. "And are you kidding? I'm not a sadist, there are no bean burritos in there. Just meat and what they think qualifies as produce, I guess. Iceberg is useless isn't it?"

The last to be dropped off is the heavy bag of alcohol — beer, cider, wine. She chews her lower lip as she looks at the food, wondering if it's the right gesture to these people whose lives are in upheaval.

Elisabeth looks at the abundance of food in shock. And then she starts laughing. "Lene…. you are a wise, wise woman," she says softly. "And one after my own heart. If all hell's breaking loose, feed everyone." She pats Lene's shoulder and starts to unload the bags. "And thank you for being smart enough not to bring the beans. Jesus…." And then it's a fit of giggling that she tries to smother and can't. "Oh… oh god. Trask …. " She snickers. "Do not feed that man bean burritos. Ever."

Liz, at least, might notice the speed with which Ygraine puts her back to a wall, but to the others it possibly just looks like she's clearing space for the latest arrival. Propping her rump against the blue-dyed lowest portion of her mostly-black braid, Ygraine musters a smile - nervous, rather than plastered-on - as she raises a hand in greeting to the latest stranger.

"Hi. I'm Ygraine. I'm Liz's pet wall-crawler and spelunker", she murmurs to both Lene and Claire after Liz's pronouncement on Trask's diet, her accent crisply British and educated.

Eyes roll a little at mention of Track and an amused chuckle, Claire relaxes a little. "I was going to say…" but she was trying to be politically correct.

A polite smile is turned to Lene, "Hey." Is offered as a greeting. "I'm Claire, Liz's… well…" she trails off glancing at her friend. "Still working on that still since I can't be her shield anymore." At least that smile remains, meaning she's becoming more resigned with her new lot in life. For the moment she seems to shift more interest to the food in the bags, hunger is a whole new thing for her.

Of course, in short order that bag of alcohol pulls her attention. She's has yet to test her ability to hold her liquor now that she can't heal it away.

Liz's words earn a giggle that breaks the plastered smile into one more genuine. "I donno Trask but I don't think I'd like him. But I bet I have some friends who could put him to shame, if that's his main talent." She won't name names. Joshua.

"Jolene," she says, moving forward to offer a hand to Claire first, and then to Ygraine. "I was for a few glorious months the most awesome mail clerk in the history of security firms," she says with a toss of her bright hair. "Nice to meet ya."

Awesome mail clerks. Elisabeth just shakes her head with a smile. She starts setting food out, making sure to put some aside for Monica, Jaiden, and Trask. That she knows what at least two of the three will prefer is evident in the mix of what she puts on the paper plates she finds buried in the Piccoli's bag. She covers the plates that are going to be stored and leaves everything else for those who'll join later. The blonde grins at Lene, and for the first time in a week, … it's just a normal day. Or sort of normal anyway. "So how're things?" she asks.

Ygraine shakes firmly, offering Lene a somewhat nervous smile. "It's, ahh, good to meet you", she rather bashfully informs the young woman before reclaiming her hand. A moment of nervous dithering, then she moves to sort herself a drink - wholly non-alcoholic, in her case.

The grip on Jolene's is firm, with a genuine smile. "Good to meet you." Then she's studying the offered drinks, after ganking the box of broccoli chicken from the bag with a pair of chopsticks. Settling finally for a beer. She then retreats a little from the rest, but still where she can be a part of the conversation.

"Things are… I donno, okay I guess. My roommate still has a job, so that's good. I'll start putting in applications other places, and hopefully someone will bite," Lene says, opting for the pizza box herself and then a hard cider. "I should go pound the pavement some more tomorrow."

She frowns suddenly, looking up. "I … I'm sorry. Is it rude to talk about that, given the circumstances?" she says, suddenly, eyes darting to Ygraine, then Claire, then Liz. "I'm … I'm awful with etiquette. Please don't be offended?" there's a slight pleading tone to the last.

Ygraine also approaches the pizza box, though she does so somewhat cautiously - and shoots Lene a distinctly surprised look. "Offended… by you looking for a job?", she asks, as if not at all sure that she's understanding the question. "Certainly not on my part." A momentary pause, then she ventures a joke. "Who else will bring us pizza if you can't afford to?"

Opening the box, Claire watches Lene in amusement. She doesn't even look offended and makes sure to say so, "You're not offending me, Jolene. I've been living this sort of life for four years… working on five?" The sticks are opened and split, then attention is focused on picking at the contents of the box.

"I don't suppose it's going to change any either." A shoulder is shrugged and Claire pops a bit of broccoli into her mouth. "I hope yo find another job you can be… awesome at."

Lene actually breathes a sigh of relief, almost comically so, but it doesn't seem to be for dramatics' sake. "Oh, good. I don't really know, like, the protocol for this sort of … you know. I feel bad you guys have to be in hiding and all." She scratches her nose before taking a bite of the pizza, loaded with the works (except anchovies, because that's just gross).

"I might have been a little overqualified for mail clerking anyway, but you know, start small, dream big." Giving a nod to the broccoli, her nose wrinkles. "You might keep that away from this Trask feller too."

"I'm not sure there are protocols for the social etiquette of interacting with wanted fugitives", Ygraine says dryly. "But… thank you, Lene. And Norton's lovely. Not that I've made much of a study of what effect foods have on him."

"I have no plans of letting him near this," Claire states, holding up the container a little, before making another piece disappear. Brows lift in a half a wiggle, as she chews the bite. "What is it you want to do?" She asks the redheaded former mail cleric. "I mean… if I'm not being too nosy."

Eyes give the girl a once over, with a small smirk. "The fact your bringing us food here says a lot about you." At least for Claire, who trusts Liz and Cardinal fully.

"I'm in school for mechanical engineering," Lene says with a shrug. "But really I just want to do something that matters. That makes the world better." She takes another nibble of pizza. "What does it say about me, Claire? Other than that I have bad luck in choosing employment." Her green eyes sparkle a little at that jibe.

"To me, it'd suggest that you're brave", Ygraine says quietly, while apparently engaged in attempting to identify some of the ingredients on the nearly-everything-goes pizza. "And the range of food suggests that you want to do the best you can. And the concern over whether it's enough, or right, suggests that you're doing this to help, rather than because you think you know just what's required and you're the person to set the world to rights."

"But I'm just an overly talkative eccentric, so… if I'm wrong I apologise. I should shut up and eat the pizza."

A smirk goes to Ygraine and nods slowly. "That you are here, means they trust you." Claire starts, motioning at Lene with her chopsticks. "That clearly you don't like the direction we're going. Like robots wandering the city and big brother watching." She speaks seriously, even though she's stuffing her face. "Since we are in the business — as a group — of murdering futures…"

She gives her a small smile. "You must want to see a better world then what we have…" Claire trails off a little, her smile fading as she looks down at the food in her hand. "Though… it seems like each future we get rid of the next one is worse."

Lene's face blushes with at Ygraine's assessment, and she ducks her head, taking an interest in burrowing through the pink box of goodies, abandoning the pizza in exchange for a snickerdoodle.

This she nibbles as Claire speaks, and her brow wrinkles. "Eventually," she murmurs, around a bite of cookie, "you'd have to come to a better one, right? Just the laws of probability. Whatever future we're murdering now … the next one has to be good."

She frowns at the cookie and sets it down next to the nearly whole slice of pizza. "It has to be."

"We've not just been making things worse, over the years", Ygraine puts in quietly. "My first… serious involvement with any of this" - her part-eaten slice of pizza is waved vaguely around the room. "The first time I came under fire - came face to barrel with a tank, for that matter - was when we were stopping people from wiping out six billion of the population. Elisabeth's told me that something she stopped had the potential to be as bad, but… that's certainly the worst I've had any involvement with. And just about anything's better than extermination of the race."

A slight, lop-sided shrug to Lene. "I'm not sure that whatever comes next has to be better than whatever we're preventing - frankly, I don't know what we're actually set for, and if the fighting over the timeline matches up to the dreams or if that's a whole new set of problems to avert. I dunno. But… whatever the future is, we've got to try to make it a better one. 'Cause the present's going down the pan."

"I… guess we'll just have to see what's going to happen." Claire sighs a little, glancing at her food and then slowly goes about folding the box closed again. Appetite gone for the moment. "The last one was a water world. Richard stopped a nuke from starting the melt the south pole and flooding everything. Now we have robots hunting us… Somehow I won't be surprised if we have little… spider robots running around taking photos of our faces… or…. whatever." She tries to wave it off, but she had a dream about it.

"But I am going to be crossing my fingers that the next is better." Claire agrees softly. "I don't think there will ever be a future that will be good, but better would be nice."

Green eyes dart up at the word dreams and then jump to Claire's face before Lene jumps up next, chair pushed out and scraping tile. "Water!" she says suddenly. "I just remembered, I - I need to go … pay a water bill or it might get shut off. Dammit, it was the one thing I was supposed to do today, and they close… like, soon. My roommate's gonna kill me if I get the water turned off."

She glances around the room once more, looking like she wants to say more before she shakes her head and darts from the room. A moment later, a door thuds to mark her exit.

"Wait!", Ygraine calls out as the girl takes off at a run. Then she sighs, shaking her head, worriedly eyeing the exit… before looking back to Claire. "Is it just my paranoia playing up again, or do you think she's not really dashing off to pay a water bill?"

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