Flex Your Trigger-finger


hana_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Flex Your Trigger-finger
Synopsis Teo asks Hana if they should kidnap the little girl right now. She says, "Yes," and her trigger-finger twitches a bit in a way that induces nervous.
Date December 2, 2008

Primatech Paper Facility (Ruins), Staten Island

Staten Island is quiet this evening, especially out by the old, abandoned, neglected paper warehouse. Fire-etched scars on the sides of the building add to the sense of disrepair, along with the trees that have grown quite tall, the shrubs (and blackberries) which are slowly encroaching upon the now-defunct landscaping. The drive is still clear, save for weedy greens, and the parking lot pavement only cracked here and there by intrepid grasses. Cold nighttime air whispers through the leaves and stalks, but finds an impenetrable barrier in the form of Hana's jacket. Seated on an ivy-wreathed bench, the Israeli woman seems to be looking at the building, but it's a fair guess her attention is actually anywhere but upon its concrete-brick walls.

Despite the station appointed to him, Teo missed out on some glaringly important markers in Phoenix and PARIAH's joint history. The raid on Primatech being one of them, even if it had occurred only because a shapeshifting serial killer was busy pelting them with herring. It had shown them, particularly the core group that remains, that they had teeth

At the time, or immediately afterward, he'd been glad he hadn't been there, concerned with school, his job, doing the plumbing at the latest Ferrymen safehouse that required remodelling somewhere on the dividing line to the Bronx. Now, it leaves Teo to wonder what's to come. He stares a lot as he comes across the grass, at the scorch marks, the ravenous foliage, doorways gone derelict and windows blind. Hana's rigidly-postured figure is out-of-place here. "Buona notte," he calls out ahead. His own garb is black on gray, leather and wool in onion layers to keep his Mediterranean blood from freezing.

This facility has been abandoned for longer than the raid, the victim of an older, even quieter struggle. Both Hana and Teo are out of place, the living amongst unknown numbers of ghosts. It's the call of the living that draws the woman's attention away from whatever distant reach, and she rises as Teo finishes his approach. "Good evening," she echoes, the words cool and polite. It's automatic. The light breeze wafts loose hair across her face; one strand elicits a reflexive blink, but Hana otherwise fails to dignify the inconvenience with any reaction.

They shouldn't be the same to Teo, but they are: made alike by his ignorance. He stops walking, his shoes stalled silent and motionless on the grass. The lack of warmth in the greeting doesn't alarm him; a more effusive one probably would have. Though Hana Gitelman will take far more getting used to before he does, he's gone accustomed to the regular habits and frameworks within which she presents herself. Leather jacket, severity of carriage, the taciturn minimalism with which she speaks. "Thank you for tracking Eileen," he says, knowing no other way how to acknowledge Hana's work despite that sending it a token of gratitude might be construed as an insult of a different kind. "I would have hated it if we lost her."

Dark eyes blink once; not an expression of surprise, nothing more meaningful than a simple action. Hana inclines her head in acknowledgment of Teo's gratitude. "You're welcome," she replies simply, apparently expecting nothing different. No insults received this time through. Her gaze flicks to one side at a rustle in the darkness, but the sound is noted, categorized, and simply disregarded; not a hazard. Her attention just as quickly returns to Teo. "Have you decided what to do next?"

It is difficult to suspect hazard behind a rustle of vegetation if Hana has already dismissed it. Too hard for Teo, anyway. He inclines his head, and the wind pokes a cold finger through his rumpled hair. "Of course." Cotton-gloved, his hands curl at his sides. He finishes the distance to the bench, standing from her at the distance of its length. Ivy taps his pant leg, where a coffee stain would have been visible in brighter leg. On the best of days, Teodoro makes a drab terrorist. "We haven't," he answers. "I was hoping you would have some ideas. Brian wanted to take her in this afternoon, but Central Park seemed like a bad place. I see some value in following her whereabouts, but I'm concerned that it's only a matter of time before she moves further than traffic surveillance can follow. Or their teleporter picks her up." Teo exhales translucent white.

"Trailing is difficult," Hana agrees. "Especially from a distance." Unless you have a bug, but that's a different ballgame. She adjusts her weight, shifting position, the movement bringing enough hair across the threshold to require it be brushed back. "Given how much she wandered already, I don't expect following her trail will return much information. If it does turn up anything, it'll take a long time." Hana tips her head slightly. "If they act again…" We'll all condemn ourselves for waiting.

If there's anybody left alive to condemn themselves. Teo turns these notions over and over in his head, his mouth a line, the angles of jaw and cheeks taking harsh angles. "If she's searching Chelsea, she might be there for awhile. I know Deckard did used to frequent the area, and following hearsay could keep her busy because she's trying to find him. Would you do it tonight?" It feels fast. Soon. Any longer and he'd be gnawing his nails to his knuckles from impatience, probably. There's no quantity of just right anymore, of violence, of time, of the place to be.

Would she do it tonight? Hana closes her eyes, listening to the words. Her fingers twitch, a reflex Noah would interpret immediately; Teo might take longer, he might not. But the technopath doesn't actually go after any of her concealed weapons. She just draws in a breath; reminds herself to be patient. It's not her job to go find and murder a pack of terrorists. She has other responsibilities. Damn Bennet. "That's all conjecture," Hana says, her voice quiet — but that's not to be mistaken for soft. "Unless you know something you haven't told me. What we know is that she's there. Now."

Wonderfully, Teo arrives at the appropriate conclusion immediately, automatically begins to second-guess it as a symptom of a now-paranoid mind, then realizes with unpleasantly, startling clarity that he had been right. He betrays the leapfrog of his thoughts with a sharp, saccadic jerk of his pale eyes between her hand and her face and a crease between his brows. It isn't Phoenix's job to seek and destroy packs of terrorists, either, but there is no one else. Not yet. "That's fair," he answers after a moment, his voice equally low, a toneless quality to it. "Alexander said he would be on-call. Will you be otherwise occupied tonight?" He doesn't look at the ruin of a building when he asks, not this time.

Catching the flicker of Teo's eyes, Hana follows it down to her own hands. There's nothing apologetic about the thin smile she gives the Sicilian, but it's a peculiar blend of regret and the embers of an old, long-buried anger. Not, fortunately, directed in any way, shape, or form at Teo. "I have… other appointments tonight, unfortunately." There's an undercurrent to the final word which suggests she really does regret missing out on the action. There's a beat of silence, after which the technopath's chin lifts slightly, her gaze reorienting on the distance beyond Teo. Not as if someone's there, but looking far beyond, into something purely virtual.

So too does Teo regret that. Not having her with them, that is. More than most of his troubled ex-military friends, having Wireless around makes him feel safe. Blame it on Catholicism if you like: having a ghost in the machine has, thus far, proved far more an asset to him and his than a pain. He smiles, and says, "It's a crying shame. Still, wouldn't want to bother you with something as apparently petty as abducting a little girl, signora." Not that it is. His features blank when hers does; he fights down the urge to follow her line of sight over his shoulder and bites back a query.

"I wouldn't call it petty," Wireless replies distractedly, proving that she's still perfectly aware of her surroundings despite having invoked her ability. The tendril of brown hair that falls into her face is not merely disregarded, but unnoticed; aside from its breeze-driven motion, she is still. "Keep an eye out for… company… when you do go. She might be meeting some people."

"It isn't," Teodoro agrees, without joy or appetite. When Hana cites her observation, the Sicilian's pale eyes narrow fractionally, instantly wary. He can only hope that the teleporter isn't about to come in and scoop her back into the bosom of safety— or whatever passes for such when one works in their industry. He nods once. "We'll need a safehouse."

He dislike the word 'prison.' "Somewhere to keep her. The Library would be fucking stupid— Helena's first concern when I called her. Would you be able to give us an address for somewhere that would work?" Implicit is the token reassurance, that the Ferrymen will be involved in the reasonable — considerable — capacities. After all, there's more at stake here than Phoenix's survival. At his sides, his fingers curl, a repressed reflex, in odd mimicry to her earlier flinch. Little doubt, she wouldn't know why; her hair's getting everywhere and it's in his nature to help.

She wouldn't have the first clue, no. Hana's distraction is enough that the non-threatening reflex passes beneath her conscious notice; after a moment, she blinks, dark eyes refocusing on Teo. "That can be arranged." Messages being an everyday matter with her, there's no outward sign of the directives Wireless now transmits. But one of them goes to Teo's phone, dumping the address to its memory by way of a text message. "Do you want one of our staff there, or just the empty space?"

Teo drops his head a fraction of an inch and his eyes fall, thinking. "I trust your people. As does Helena. They're competent and more experienced than me, on average." He keeps his voice from going to wry, unwilling to waste his breath on self-deprecation when there's shit needs doing. There is too much shit that needs doing. "If someone's willing to risk their face, I welcome them."

He hadn't moved to look at his cellphone, despite the mechanical twitch that signaled it had received her packets. By now, he knows what that means. "You should know: Flint Deckard is aware of that the Ferrymen are his hosts. I'm trying to see about getting some semblence of a life back — eventually. If the Ferrymen have a use for a man of his skills, I'd be reassured," he says. If he realizes it may be unbecoming for him to give a shit, he apparently— doesn't give a shit, though there's nothing approaching warmth in his tone.

"I'll pass that on." There's a pause as Teo continues, the Israeli canting her head and regarding him for a long moment. As if it were his skills under scrutiny. Reason being that Deckard just plain isn't here to be studied under Hana's visual microscope. "If we can trust him, then we can find him a place on the Ferry. If not, then it'll just be a place." Simple as that.

Well, that'll make your sphincter shrink. Or put a tiny grin on your face: Teo can't repress this one, just now, though it doesn't last. He's met almost every single one of his limitations in his twenty-six years of life, and learned to make peace with them whenever he isn't waging outright war. "Okay. Grazie. I should probably fuck off out of here. Give you a call when we're on the road, see where Eileen is at," he says, putting his gloved hands in his pockets, black into black. He spares the overgrown building a final look, some inscrutable progression of thought wheeling to a conclusion in his consciousness: the scorch marks, the disrepair predates the two months since Helena led PARIAH out of the facility. He's been in construction. He knows a little. "What does this mean to you?" he asks, after a moment. His tone is as unintrusive as the question may be otherwise.

A nod to Teo is Wireless' acquiescence to his 'plan'. Which amounts to a verbose version of 'talk to you later.' She pauses in the act of turning away when the Sicilian speaks up again, looking first to him, and then to the damaged building. Dark eyes linger there, the woman's expression inscrutable. The set of her jaw, however, is decidedly not reflective of friendly thoughts. "Not enough," Hana states quietly. Finishing the turn, she begins to walk away.

December 2nd: Mistaken Insanity
December 2nd: Aiming Westwards
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