Flea Market


eileen3_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Flea Market
Synopsis Raith and Eileen meet at a flea market in Central Park to strike a bargain.
Date July 3, 2009


ace_of_cups (3:11:50 AM): hello?

KingofSwords (3:12:26 AM): WOmen it's 3, why do you do this to me

ace_of_cups (3:14:00 AM): did i wake you up

KingofSwords (3:14:31 AM): Look, what do you need?

ace_of_cups (3:14:55 AM): did i wake you up??

KingofSwords (3:15:06 AM): What do you need?

ace_of_cups (3:15:28 AM): we should meet

KingofSwords (3:16:04 AM): This can't wait, can it?

ace_of_cups (3:16:36 AM): there is a flea market at central park
ace_of_cups (3:16:40 AM): 7 am
ace_of_cups (3:16:44 AM): i need you to be there

KingofSwords (3:17:17 AM): I can be there will be there
KingofSwords (3:17:22 AM): Anything else?

ace_of_cups (3:17:26 AM): i am sorry i woke you up

KingofSwords (3:17:33 AM): Anything else?

ace_of_cups (3:17:35 AM): no

KingofSwords has signed off at 3:18:00 AM.

Central Park

The flea market in Central Park is a good place to find things. It's also not a half-bad place to get lost; there are enough people around that it's tough to pick someone out from the crowd unless you care to get close enough to actually look at their faces. Jensen Raith is banking on this fact, using the crowd to blend in and mask his presence. Eileen Ruskin is also banking on this fact, using the crowd so that no one she knows will realize what she's doing standing next to Jensen Raith. For the time being, both of them are just friends meeting at the flea market to pass the time. "I just don't see how he can bring sparkles to her eyes," Raith says more to nobody than to Eileen, dismissively dropping a used book, worn so much its title is barely visible, back into the plastic bin with its cousins, "He's full of abuse, and has about as much personality as a picket fence." But that's not the matter at hand.

"Look, we both have things that we need to do, I'm sure, so, what's up? Why call me out here?"

Immersed in a dog-eared copy of This Is It by the late Alan Watts, Eileen glances up at her companion from behind the pages of her book and gives him a quizzical look. For someone who was up at three in the morning and sending clandestine text messages by the light of a pixelated screen, her grayish eyes are surprisingly bright and alert. While she has to sleep sometime, it's clear that her circadian rhythm doesn't match that of the man standing across the bins from her. "Neither of my leads have come back with anything," she says shortly, "or at least not that I can use. Someone told me you used to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. Is that true?"

"There is absolutely no evidence, anywhere, that I ever worked for the CIA," Raith replies, "I did linguistics research in foreign countries for the College of William and Mary." Eileen might not know it, but that college can be found in Williamsburg, Virginia, along with Camp Peary, a suspected CIA training camp. More tellingly, Raith never says that he never worked for the CIA. He only said she couldn't prove it. "Who'd you hear that from, anyway, and why do you care?"

Where Eileen heard it from is apparently irrelevant. She wets her finger on the tip of her tongue and turns the page. "I'm told there's going to be a demonstration at Pinehearst's Corporate Headquarters in Jersey sometime next week. VIP, government personnel only." There's a pause as she lowers her gaze back to the text, eyes tracking from one side of the page to the other. Either she's very good at multitasking, or she's making the extra effort to appear as though her attention is divided in case she and Raith are being watched from afar. With Daiyu slithering around New York City like some sort of snake in the grass, it's always a possibility.

"They're a biotech firm, by the way," she adds in a tone that's light but not particularly upbeat. "If you can get me information on whatever it is they plan on pitching, I'll arrange a meeting with Holden."

"Biotech, huh?" Sifting through the contents of the bin, Raith fishes out a small pocket-sized volume and busies himself checking its contents. "Hm, Little Black Book of Wine. Know anything else about them? Number of employees, financial backers, the usual? The more you can tell me now, the better."

Eileen reaches into her coat pocket and produces a crinkled dollar bill, folded between the knuckles of two ungloved fingers, and offers it to the vendor in exchange for the book. It isn't until she's drawing away from the bins with This Is It tucked under her arm and a complimentary bookmark behind her ear that she attempts to elaborate. "My contact seems to think that Pinehearst is working on a formula designed to give people synthetic abilities. This might have something to do with all the FRONTLINE hullabaloo that's been on the news lately or it might not. One of the suits in charge is the president's father, so make of that whatever you will."

When Eileen departs, Raith isn't far behind, although he doesn't have a book of his own. Lacking something of this sort to occupy his hands, they promptly go into his front pants pockets. "That so?" he asks, although he doesn't comment on it further. At least, not immediately, but after a few moments of churning that information over in his head, he decides he doesn't like what he just heard. "That's pretty slick on their part. They make something everyone will want, turn a huge profit doing so, and everyone else'll be too fucking thrilled to care about the further-reaching implications. Never mind that it'll probably violate the Bio-Tox Convention."

Quickening his pace, Raith moves in front of Eileen to block her path, turning to face her. "I really hope you didn't know about this before yesterday," he cautions, "Because if you did, I might strangle you. Just a little bit."

Eileen does what any normal person would do upon finding their path obstructed by a very large and seemingly unmovable object. She comes to an abrupt stop and leans to the left, angling a glance around Raith's blocky frame as if trying to determine the best way to get past him. "You need to brush up on your Norse mythology, Jensen," she chides him gently. "Munin, remember? Knowing things is my business. If you want to pan someone's head in, take it up with Volken."

She makes a dismissive gesture with her hand, two fingers flicking swiftly sideways. Move, please. "Keeping your sausage hands off my twiggy little neck must be hard, I'm sure, but let's not make a scene. Yeah?"

No happier but also no fool, Raith moves to one side enough to allow Eileen to pass, restarting his own progress down the way. "If this gets out," he begins, "That'll be the end, you realize. How did they figure out how to do this? Synthesize them? They've been working on exactly that since the Cold War, at least, we all know this. So why now? How did some upstart company do what governments with unlimited money couldn't? Never mind, doesn't matter." What does matter is how he's going to pull this off. "I'll need help with this. Anyone smart enough to figure out how to give these to people is going to know something about keeping their information secret. Does your contact have someone inside?"

"Actually, I was hoping you might be able to approach it from the other end." Which would probably explain why she was so curious about his employment history prior to signing on with the Vanguard. Eileen's legs are much shorter than Raith's, but even if they weren't, her pace is leisurely enough that he should have no difficulty keeping up — ahead of them, the throng thins out where the flea market ends, dirt road tapering off into an open clearing where a man plays fetch with his pitbull mix and a slobbery blue frisbee while a flock of resting geese look uneasily on. "Someone's got to have an itinerary on record. Memos. You do have resources you can tap, don't you?"

"Probably." Eileen was likely hoping Raith had more access to resources than 'probably.' "I'll see what pieces are still in play. Companies like this one have records. Push the right buttons and you can get anything." Raith doesn't pay much attention to the thinning crowd. If nothing else, he's not worried about it. "As for you, you've still got work to do. I need you to talk to der wolf. I need to talk to him about this. If they are working on this formula, well, like I said, end of the line. And no way we can count on officials to do anything about it, if you get my meaning."

Whether or not Eileen gets Raith's meaning, she doesn't seem particularly inclined to allow this line of conversation to continue much further. What she said to Gillian had been true — her quarrel with Pinehearst starts and ends at Gabriel Gray. "You scratch my back, I scratch yours," she says. "Ought to be simple enough for you to wrap your skull around."

"You think short-term, corax," Raith says, walking slightly faster and slowly pulling away from Eileen, "And that's why you're not in charge of this operation." If Eileen has anything else to say, Raith isn't interested in hearing it. As far as he's concerned, the meeting is over.

As the two part company, each moving in a separate directions, there may not be much camaraderie, but there is always the simple truth that both of them know all too well: there are no more heroes in New York City. There are only terrorists, and it's only in a world gone as insane as the one they live in where the terrorists just might be the good guys.

Assuming such things still exist.

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