Foregone Conclusions


brennan_icon.gif cat_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif odessa_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Foregone Conclusions
Synopsis Brennan returns to the Garden bearing bad news, and although the Ferry doesn't shoot the messenger, it does lock him up in the basement.
Date April 26, 2010

The Garden

The horses are settled, dishes washed and children tucked into bed; even most of the adults who currently call the Garden home have retired for the evening, leaving a skeleton staff downstairs at the kitchen table to talk in low voices over a shared kettle of tea and a plate of bread, butter and soft cheese for those who missed dinner. Eileen is among them, but she doesn't have the appetite to appreciate the offering, and for once it has nothing to do with the tobacco-flavoured suppressant she has lit between her fingers, her pale face gaunt and tired behind a veil of silvery smoke.

She and the man standing behind her chair wouldn't normally be here at such a late hour. They belong back at the Dispensary, but until they receive word from Brennan or Kaylee about their attempt at negotiations with the Institute, neither of them are leaving.

The word is coming, sooner rather than later as someone gives word that someone is coming to the Garden, the gate unlocked for them. Within a minute or two of this, Brennan is stomping his cold way into the Garden proper, bee lining towards heat while his head swivels this way and that, looking for whom he considers to pretty much be the senior member of the Ferry present.

Which is Eileen of course. Only, he's lacking the blonde woman who went out with him and the look on his face when he takes off his toque and gloves to start peeling off his jacket, one has to wonder if there is any good news. "They accepted the deal. Three Ferry will be released on Wednesday, as you requested with Contact made on Thursday" It's what he says next that he's not expecting to be popular and perhaps a gun or two pointed in his direction.

"Kaylee went with them. They demanded her, and she went. She wanted to see her Father"

Present also, having provided Eileen with recently decoded information, is Cat. She hasn't commented much on the exhibits, feeling they speak for themselves and if discussion were desired she'd be asked for it. She may also have designs on going to visit Skoll again as Baba Yaga, the necessary attire for it being tucked away in a bag. Silence is kept when Brennan enters and makes his report.

Eileen has her cancer stick, and Jensen Raith, the man standing behind her chair, has his. For a change, he didn't start his cigar half-finished, but that hasn't stopped him from rendering it that way. He's nervous, strange as that may seem: He's always nervous going up against something hundreds of times larger and more powerful than he is. The only difference is that this time, it's not a foreign government, but his government.

Already, Raith has been pacing back and forth, not too far, not too rapidly, and not too frequently, starting every few minutes and stopping shortly later. He nearly begins another round when the pair they've been waiting for reappear. Or rather, when Brennan reappears alone and explains what happened. Raith's take on everything is obvious from the way he says nothing in response, but simply shoves the glowing tip of his cigar down into the ashtray on the table with enough force to break it into pieces. Perhaps the real question is, who is he more angry at?

Odessa Knutson feels rather much like she's in hostile territory here at the Garden. Rather than sit at the table with those meant to be her contemporaries in this endeavour, she's taken up a perch on the kitchen counter. Her attention snaps up every time Raith begins to pace. His being nervous does little to set her at ease. And she's been very ill at ease since the raid for vaccines-that-never-were. She's only up to speed as much as Eileen feels she needs to be, and what she's been told about the Ferry's current situtation with the mysterious Institute hasn't sat well with her at all.

Brennan spares them the indignity of having to ask where Kaylee is. A good thing — Eileen doesn't trust her voice. Her initial reaction isn't to thunder out of her chair or curl her lips around a snarl directed at the doctor standing in front of her, but neither is she completely calm. Green eyes lower, and she spends the next few moments studying the back of her hand holding the cigarette and the shapes the smoke makes as it rises from the tip, visible as a bright ring of burning embers the same colour as the fire burning in the Garden's hearth.

She's unable to maintain the passive mask she wears on her face for more than the time it takes her to decide whether or not she believes Brennan. When she arrives at her unspoken conclusion, she lifts her eyes again, affixes them to his figure with a stare that rivals a snake's in acute intensity. "You're telling us that Thatcher prioritized matters of personal importance over the Ferry, knowing that she's in possession of information that could have us all arrested or killed?"

"I"m saying that they were unhappy Liette was not accompanying me, but agreed to the terms that the Ferry laid out, identified Kaylee and decided to take her as good faith since she was also someone they wanted to talk with. She went, since there were five men in suits not unlike FRONTLINE's and were aiming weapons on us that were in no way, shape or form, the kind with rubber bullets or shoot out little flags that say bang"

Sarcasm of course, being the latter.

Her features don't shift, there's nothing to indicate disquiet on them, as Cat remains just as silent as Eileen for a stretch. Odessa is briefly glanced at, nothing of her thoughts given away by it. Finally she settles gaze on Brennan and speaks quietly.

"Five men in Frontline gear. So, in addition to her desire of perhaps speaking with Edward Ray, you and she both likely perceived a foregone conclusion, they would take her with or without her consent?"

"Who cares about that right now?" Raith asks, as if Kaylee being taken was, in fact, the least of their worries. In his mind, it is. "Cat, you didn't forget the part about her having information that can get us all killed, right? Killed or tied up and stabbed with needles?" Almost instantly, he's back to pacing, but not back and forth as he was before. Immediately, Raith walks straight to the windows, pulling curtains away from them just enough to look outside, despite knowing that, without night vision or thermal gear, he's not going to see anything. "How many followed you, Brennan?"

Odessa grows visibly more nervous with the knowledge that the collective enemy is in possession of Kaylee. That is unsettling news, to say the very least. She watches Raith and shifts in her seated position as if to get a better view out the windows. Her worried gaze shifts to Eileen, as if expecting that she'll know what to do now. Well, she is expecting that Eileen will know what to do now.

Eileen's eyes have taken on a vaguely opaque quality that Odessa, more than anyone else in the room, will recognize as her ability at work. Her chest rises, falls, and cigarette pinched between her knotted fingers continues to burn. She blinks before it produces enough ashen waste to crumble off the tip without being tapped, which is incidentally the first thing she does when she opens them again and sets the cigarette aside on the lip of the same ashtray where Raith's crumpled cigar still smolders and crackles at a volume too low for anyone to hear.

She doesn't need thermal gear or night vision to make an assessment. She has nocturnal thralls to do that for her. "There's no one outside," she says. Then: "Take him."

Cat is ignored, once more by Brennan, this time though, not even a glance in her direction, as if the woman hadn't even spoken up at all. "None followed me that I know of. I didn't beeline straight here. I stuck it out at a church then ducked in through a couple other places. Same as I did when traveling with Liette. I didn't see or hear anyone. Four came down, one remained in the helicopter, four went back up with Kaylee. If they came here, then they came here"

He's prepared for another lecture about the do's and don't of how to move about undetected, and prepared to ignore it as well. What Eileen states next though, takes him by surprise. "Pardon?"

"No, I didn't forget," Cat replies to Jensen. "That she has information we need the Institute to not get isn't in dispute. What's of interest is how the meeting took place, the situation she and Dr. Brennan faced. This won't be the last time we cross paths with them, and so any single detail might be important."

The man in question is glanced at briefly, his disregard doesn't seem to faze her in the least. "In fairness to the doctor and Kaylee, we should also hear the complete circumstances of her going with them."

"He already explained them," Raith says, apparently clarifying for Cat as he steps away from the window and, perhaps menacingly ('perhaps,' for his arm is still in a cast), steps towards Brennan. "Doc, just go along with it and let me do my job, and definitely don't run. I really don't want to cripple you." Rather than a straight line, Raith moves in a slight arc around Brennan. It's fairly obvious that he's moving between the doctor and the way out. "Make this easier for all of us. Especially for you."

Odessa pretends for the moment to be preoccupied with checking the way her red blouse is tucked into her black pencil skirt. The more interest she has in the interactions in front of her, the more she instinctively feigns disinterest. But her eyes snap up to hold the other medical doctor in the room in her gaze. Holds inward a heavy sigh at Raith's methods. She doesn't question them, or the order given. The action is necessary. She's seen it dozens of times before. Someone fucks up, the Company puts them down. Whether that means wiping their mind or throwing them in a cell. Doctor Knutson can guess which is in Brennan's future.

"It's not your fault," probably isn't what Brennan is expecting Eileen to say, but there it is. "I made the decision to send Thatcher alone with you when I should've gone myself or looked to someone with more discretion." Accepting responsibility for Kaylee's disappearance, however, does not let the good doctor entirely off the hook; she hasn't yet called off Raith, and judging by the hard set of her jaw and the thin line of her lips, she has no intention of doing so.

She rises from her seat at the table in a series of smooth, sinuous movements that are simultaneously both graceful and unsightly, a velvety dark serpent shedding its skin with a languid stretch and shrug. "We'll know by Wednesday if your version of events is true. Until then, you aren't leaving this safehouse."

"This is Bullshit" Brennan's jaw is tight, hands sinking into fists, relaxing then tightening and eyeing Raith as he tries to placate and then circle. "How the hell am I supposed to stop her from getting into that plane without getting killed. I told her that none of you would believe. Christ"

One hand comes up, pinching the bridge of his nose. "God damnit." His wife is going to throw fits. "Crazy, the lot of you. Christ, I took care of all of the people hooked on refrain, I tried to get your people released and I brought you cases of Vaccine. It's not my fault? You bet it's not my fault, I'm not responsible for a kid who decides to go off half cocked to meet up with her father. She's not going to be able to do shit about him because he's in a coma and attached to a god damned machine" He's not making a moving to make a break for it, but he's also not moving.

"Kaylee and I talked once about her father," Cat supplies, "so I do believe she may have gotten into that craft to go see him even without the risk of the Institute operatives taking her anyway if she resisted. I also believe the Institute came with those Frontline-style operatives, and left little choice but to comply. Her only option, and yours, was to go or force them to kill you both." This, and what comes after, spoken without looking at the man.

"It's no fun, perceiving you'll be disbelieved no matter what you say, isn't it, Doctor Brennan? That's the impression you gave me the first time we met, and why I never approached you directly about anything regarding Liette. The best way you can help yourself right now is do what Eileen says. Don't argue, don't protest, just go with him and listen quietly to anything we might choose to share with you."

"I don't know if you noticed, doc, seeing as how you only seem to focus on what makes you feel good about yourself," Raith adds to Cat's statement, "But the way things used to be ended when those men came to Midtown. We're at war now." Maybe it's something Raith picked up from Kazimir Volken, in a way. The ex-spy lays a hand on Brennan's shoulder, not forcefully, but as if he were simply trying to get the doctor's attention. He could just incapacitate him and drag him downstairs, just like Kazimir could have sucked the life out of him when they'd first met. There is little doubt that Brennan knows this. But maybe in the hope that this situation can be resolved without burning any bridges, he doesn't cripple him or even handle him roughly. Yet.

The roll of dark blue eyes is hidden by the downward tilt of Doctor Knutson's head. There is a small amount of pleasure in no longer being the least trusted person in the room, but it's a very hollow sort of victory. I was doing what I was told. I didn't have a choice. It wasn't my fault. Blonde hair spills over one shoulder as she pictures countless people before this man that have made similar pleas.

"Doctor Brennan," Odessa begins in a very quiet voice that she hopes is somehow reassuring, "you should try and remain calm and do as the others request. If everything is as you say, you have nothing to worry about." The barest flash of a smile touches her lips. "If you continue to fuss and be indignant, you'll only raise red flags."

"There's a cot in the basement," Eileen says. "Blankets. A space heater. If you need anything else, all you have to do is ask one of our operatives through the door and they'll provide it to you as long as the request is reasonable." Fingertips trail along the edge of the table as she circles around it, following the grain of the wood. "I don't want to keep you from your family any longer than is absolutely necessary, Brennan, but I also can't afford to take any risks while reassessing our strategy. I'll see to it that your wife is informed of your situation."

She stops at the head of the table, and there's something about the way she holds herself, something about the angle of her shoulders and the tilt of her chin that's very familiar to both Odessa and Raith, if impossible to place. "I can offer you an alternative to confinement, but I think you already know what it is."

"You don't know a drop of what I've seen or what I've been through" Brennan see's fit to retort to Raith. "So don't make assumptions" Raith's hand isn't shaken off. Brennan goes off peacefully, no attempt still yet to be made to run off and Odessa's words do little to reassure or comfort. "Leave my wife out of this. That's not a request. She'll find out on her own soon enough. You don't need to send anyone to try and placate her, it went so well last time" The physician's jaw grits tight, anger in his eyes as he goes off with Raith. Where, he doesn't know. He can only hope that Harper and the institute make good on their promises. Because as of now, it's all out of his hands.

"Atta boy," Raith says as both he and Brennan go along their merry way towards the basement entrance, "It'll be great down there. We'll get you some crayons and paper, time'll pass faster than you can believe, and then we'll see what's what." Really, Brennan owes Raith a cigar, too, since it was his fault the last one was destroyed. But, he's going quietly, so for now, they're even. "Hey, I don't suppose you have any Vicodin on you. My doctor won't give me any more, see…."

Odessa's focus shifts from Brennan to Eileen and stays there for the way the woman is behaving. The little quirks she's seen in the other woman aren't something she's easily understood, but they do make her straighten her spine and pay close attention. Her eyes lid shut heavily at the mention of Vicodin, and there are several slow intakes of breath before they open again.

As Brennan is being escorted to the cottage's basement, both the largest room in the house and the most difficult to heat, Eileen slants a look between Odessa and Cat, gratitude glittering faintly in cat-green eyes shadowed by lashes that would make their colour difficult to determine if both women didn't already know what it is.

She offers no formal thank you for their support. A view of her back instead on her way toward the stairs. They won't be returning to the Dispensary tonight.

There's a bulletin that needs drafting.

Left alone with Odessa, Cat is silent for just a stretch of seconds, during which she ponders if the current situation was Eileen forgetting what might lie between them, or remembering very well and knowing… believing there won't be an incident. The silence breaks, with the panmnesiac's voice coming out slow and quiet.

"Doctor Knutson. It's good we have a chance to converse."

Odessa had been about to slide off the counter top and vacate the kitchen as well just to avoid a situation such as this. Instead, she halts in her motions, palms carefully braced against the counter with only one set of fingers wrapped around its edge for leverage, compensating for their broken counterparts on the other hand. She doesn't speak any assurance that she's heard Cat at all, offering only the fact that she's still in the room and settling back into her improvised seat.

"I won't claim things that went before are all in the past. I won't say there's forgiveness, because there isn't. Truth is, despite her wishes, I still don't entirely forgive myself," Cat states in that same slow and quiet tone. "I won't say I completely trust you. I don't expect you'd believe it if I did. But I will say I'm not out chasing vengeance. There are many things in life far more important, and I find making new memories is much better than dwelling on old grudges and painful recollections."

She pauses then, head turning slightly so she can rest eyes on the woman.

"You needn't watch your back regarding me, or fear I'll make a hostile move. I won't. Others that I trust have placed trust in you, and that's enough." She rises and extends her right hand in an apparent gesture of peace.

Odessa's expression remains passive as she watches Cat's lips move while she speaks. In truth, she has no clue what the other woman's on about. Odessa's done a good share of terrible things to people at one time or another, or at least been part of collectives that have done terrible things. Her guess on what she's not being forgiven for is definitely not what she's actually not being forgiven for. Instead, she simply offers a small incline of her head, her eyes darting down to the offered hand from Cat. A moment passes that may be one of hesitation, or something closer to quiet consideration, but eventually the hand is taken and shook, briefly.

No deceit, no trickery there, the grip is stronger than one might expect from a woman but not painfully or crushingly so. Cat shakes once and releases, the hand falling to her side. "Cuts in two directions, really," she admits, "there are certainly a number of people out there with reason to harbor grudges against me. Wives, girlfriends, lovers, sons, daughter, parents, husbands, boyfriends… We've all got blood on our hands, and all those people likely are survived by still more who loved them."

A quiet chuckle is let out. "You've got decent acting chops. Ever consider a career in Hollywood? Anyway, I'm Cat Chesterfield, a different kind of doctor."

"I know who you are," Odessa responds in a quiet voice, taking her hand back and resting it in her lap. There's no flicker of understanding, and no recognition of the commiseration being offered. "Does it ever get old? People asking you what kind of medicine you practice when you introduce yourself as a doctor? Because doctors practice medicine. You, lady, are a lawyer."

"I'm a lot of things. Attorney, political scientist, kick-ass guitarist, singer, defender of the Constitution… I don't worry much about the medical thing, there's so many kinds of doctorate. Yale University says I've got one, that's good enough for me. I just don't let people think I'm an MD. And I kinda like the looks I get when I say my doctorate's in law. It's funny." Cat walks over to the refrigerator and opens it, maybe seeking beer or some such. "Medicine's interesting," she allows. "Studied some emergency medicine once, read Grey's Anatomy."

"Oh, well you must know everything then," Odessa responds in a way that almost sounds serious, if not for the fact that she couldn't possibly be. "Why don't you try Catherine Chesterfield, Esquire instead? Sounds much better than having to quickly follow up with not that kind of doctor. Sounds like you're trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes when you introduce yourself that way. Misleading."

"Because I earned a doctorate," Cat replies as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "Every other kind of doctor is respected as that without question. Math, science, philosophy. If they didn't want people using the title, schools should rename the degree. Most of the time, Cat's good enough." A bottle of Pepsi is extracted, the door closed.

"But I don't know everything. I just like to read. Keeps the mind busy." Because all too often, when she stops, the mind wanders and sinks into the painful. Quite the situation: near constant learning, or sinking into a case of PTSD deeper than the world's ever known to exist.

"Well, Cat, I think I'm going to get some sleep." Odessa finally slides off the counter, shaking her injured hand at her side gingerly as though it will loosen up the tension there and ease the lingering pain. "If Doctor Brennan causes any trouble, come get me and I'll neutralise him." Which could mean a few different things, but Doctor Knutson doesn't feel like elaborating. Some people just don't mind being ominous.

Nothing further is said while Odessa remains in the room, Cat watches her leave before remarking under her breath. "Oh, and I remember every time you came and went when you lived in my building." Not that she's ready to let the woman know who owned the place. Maybe she already figured it out, maybe not.

Her presence in the Garden doesn't remain much longer. There are places to be, things to do, people to… oh, yes. Skoll and the Baba Yaga thing. Just because she doesn't intend to take out issues on Odessa or Ethan doesn't mean she won't visit them on others.

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