eve_icon.gif grace_icon.gif jezebel_icon.gif

Scene Title Foxhole
Synopsis Three Ferrymen go scouting as per their backup plan.
Date January 2, 2009

Somewhere Under Midtown

In the world above, it's the early stages of a cold late afternoon, the sun on its long march down a mostly cloudy sky. In the broken subway tunnels that once serviced the neighborhoods of Midtown, the air is less bitter in its bite, made faintly humid by held-in warmth and moisture. The concrete-walled corridor down which Grace presently walks is faintly damp, but there are no puddles worth the name. There are also no rats, cats, or stray dogs, at least where the intrepid explorers can see them; there's not much of anything at all in this abandoned place, save the echoes of memories two years dead.

There's no way Grace would even consider coming on such an expedition without being sufficiently prepared, and ensuring the same of her companions as well; there's supplies enough and more in the Hangar to kit them out for the hike. The hiking boots are a little heavier than Grace's usual wont, though the black jeans are her normal garb; she wears a lightweight but warm navy blue coat under a reasonably well-laden backpack. A slender, chemiluminescent cylinder hangs from one of the straps, casting a warm yellow-orange glow over the immediate stretch of corridor. (On the other strap is an inexpensive badge of the sort used to detect radiation. It's still a neutral white tone.) The flashlight in her left hand provides stronger illumination for things of interest, like the bits of rubble she occasionally opts not to step on. The tunnel lights, of course, are inoperative.

"It shouldn't be much more before the next station," the woman states, the rasping timbre of her ruined voice made muted and dull by the enclosed, dead air. "Hopefully this one will be in better shape than the last. If not, Alistair said he'd found some leads on really old abandoned tunnels that run a little deeper. Might have been more shielded."

"I certainly hope so," Jezebel says. "Anywhere we set up as a shelter might need to take a nuke. Cheery thought. I really hope we won't need a shelter. I was hoping for two or three spots, split up so that anyone who can't reach one isn't completely screwed, but it looks as if we'll be lucky to get one." Jezebel has a green Luminol stick stuck to one corner of her backpack and is carrying one of those wonderful flashlights that only needs to be shaken to work.

Eve is dressed accordingly and holds a flashlight in her hand, "I hope that it doesn't come down to this." The seer runs a hand through her hair and sighs. "We have to be careful, the older the tunnels the more likely they will collapse."

"Oh, if we're going to do this, we'll do it right." Grace's ruined voice does poorly at conveying cheer, but it comes across nonetheless. "I think Alistair mentioned some old stations or tunnels or something out in one of the other boroughs. Once we get one place decently along, we can ferret out another." The flashlight in her hand draws an off-white beam along the walls like some ephemeral form of paint, until a greater darkness further down swallows the radiance. "There we go."

"Not necessarily," Grace disagrees, as she hops over the rails, crossing over to the side where her light glints from the edge of a platform — and therefore, the side with platform access, somewhere. "Deeper ones probably didn't get hit as hard by the blast. And they'd stand up better to… well, anything. Harder to ventilate, maybe, but we can rig something. Scott can go round up some of his old Army buddies who did engineering." The woman glances over at her companions, grins briefly. "Wherever we wind up, there will be a decent amount of reinforcing done. Don't doubt it."

Jezebel says, "Thank God. I'm not an engineer. If we can get light, we can get plants to help out on air exchange. I've been looking into getting a plant to filter virus particles out of the air, but I think that would be done by symbiotic bacteria on their roots, which I can't affect. I just hope we can get everything done in time. Anyone who would use high-velocity mortars to unleash a killer virus sounds like the kind of person who would do so as soon as possible."

Eve merely listens and nods her head for the moment. She looks around the tunnel they are in. "Sounds like we need to get a move on."

"I doubt we'll get everything done in time," Grace states simply, good cheer gone. "But we'll do what we can." As much as they can. The very best they can. And that is that. "Someone more clever than me will figure it out," she assures Jezebel. The woman nods to Eve, and moves up towards the platform, locating the stairs. "Well, let's take a look around. See what we can see."

Jezebel shines her light around. "It does seem to be in reasonable condition. I wonder if the plumbing still works? It almost looks as if no one's been down here. I wonder why?"

"That reminds me, Eve, don't go see Mohinder. According to the time traveler who got word to Phoenix, the virus isn't selective and will wipe out ninety percent of the world's population. Also, Hana said to stay away from him. You should have seen her face when she said it."

Eve nods her head, "Ok that sounds really bad, the virus part." Eve then looks to Grace, "So the plan would be to get as many people down in these tunnels as possible, right?"

"Not necessarily." The platform's in decent shape; even the vandalism is relatively light, as subway stations go. Grace's light pans slowly across the tiled walls and floor, illuminating dusty bits of rubble and old trash. "It depends on what gets done. But a contained space like this? Packing it full would be a disaster." She rests her hand against a blue-painted door, jostling it a bit. It doesn't much budge. She didn't expect it to. "First we shield our own. Have to have that kind of foundation. If we've got space, we include whoever else we can."

Jezebel says, "Want a hand with the door, Grace? Part of the problem, Eve, is that I have no idea how long we'll need to be down here. We might only need to be here a few days, or we might need to be here a very long time. It all depends on how fighting the virus goes."

"Ahh that is true." Eve ruffles her hair and then looks at both Grace and Jezebel. "So we don't know what we might be doing once it's safe to come out? Regroup?"

"I think, if you'll hold the flashlight…" Grace answers Jezebel, holding it out for the younger woman to take. She looks over at Eve, and the quirk of her lips is eminently sardonic. "We don't even know if we'll need a shelter. How the hell are we supposed to guess what the world will look like if we actually have to use it?" Grace shakes her head a bit, expression shifting to ironic amusement. "I believe you're the precog, dear."

Jezebel takes the flashlight and holds it steady for Grace. "We could be looking at anything from just fine to the aftermath of a nuke, Eve. Despite the uncertainty, when the stakes are this high, one must have a backup plan. Speaking of backup, I wonder what state the plumbing is in."

Eve chuckles and shakes her head at Grace, "I've been trying to get a read on what is going to happen but no go at the moment." It's hard for Eve to admit that she can't see something in the future that will be very important.

After a moment's thought, Grace shrugs the backpack off her shoulders, just to be sure it doesn't get in the way. She wraps her fingers around the doorknob and twists it, slowly but firmly easing it around until the rust-kissed mechanism finally engages and she can shove the door open. The woman steps back to reclaim the backpack, and also her flashlight. "Probably bone-dry but intact, since there's no actual holes in the walls. Here." She offers Eve a faint smile. "Well, don't give up. We could use a few more clues."

Jezebel shines her flashlight into the revealed space. "It does look dry, at that. I'll have to walk in to have any idea of whether it's sound. Don't give up, Eve. You've done great so far." Jezebel takes one cautious step into the room, then another.

"I'll keep trying, we can't let these bastards win." Eve says softly and she follows Jezebel into the room and looks around, "Looks good." Eve comments absently and her eyes are wide as they gaze over the room.

Grace hangs back, waiting for the other two women to clear the doorway; in the meantime, she takes another visual survey of the nooks and crannies of the platform, turning away. "It's decent," the raven's rasping voice concurs. "I think we can turn it into something useful. Regardless of who 'wins'."

Jezebel says, "Let us hope it's a matter of who wins, not who loses least. I think you're right, Grace, although Scott's engineering friends will get the last word on this. What nags at me is that no one else grabbed it first. I suppose dead plumbing might account for that. How's your meter reading?"

"Win or lose.. things will never be the same after this. That's for certain." Eve listens to the two other women talk and places her hands at her side. Something about the tunnels always enticed Eve. Maybe because they are creepy… like she is. At least as creepy as she wants to be at times.

"Things never are the same," Grace points out. "Seems like the world just marches on without you if you try to make them stay that way." Her tone suggests she has some experience with this. "Well, I think we can declare this one a possibility. I'll go mark it on the map." The backpack again finds the floor, so she can pull the folded paper from the sleeve of netting on its side — and glance at the circle attached to one strap. "Still white. We seem to be clear."

Jezebel says with feeling, "Thank you, God. Grace, do we have time to check another site, or should we be getting back?"

"That is a fact." Eve responds to Grace then turning to look at her sister. She looks around the tunnel again as if looking for something.. then she shrugs lightly and holds her flashlight steady in her hands.

Grace consults the watch on her wrist; backlighting is a wonderful invention. It produces a faint foxfire-green wash on the nearby wall. "It's getting on towards five. Do you ladies have anywhere to be?"

Jezebel says, "I don't. Eve?"

"I do have a set to sing at the Orchid Lounge at seven." Eve admits and looks to the other women.

"Sounds like a good reason to march back," Grace remarks, as she restores the map to its storage place and slings the pack back on again. "Wouldn't want anything like Eve losing her job to happen, amongst everything else." It's said tongue-in-cheek, but given her ruined voice, failing to notice the humor could be forgiven.

Jezebel says, "By all means. I want to stay on the buddy system until we're sure the place and the way to it are absolutely safe, at least for us. Should we come up with a name for the place now, or is that premature?"

"Haha, yeah don't want to lose this job." Eve laughs softly. Jezebel gets a smile from Jezebel. "I think a name would be in order. Any thoughts Grace?"

Grace promptly holds up her hands, fingers splayed, as she walks back towards the tracks. "Don't look at me! I just find 'em; I don't name them. Put some options on the table and I'll vote."

Jezebel walks behind Grace. "Hmm. The Foxhole. The Rabbit Hole. Neverwhere, after the Neil Gaiman novel. Eve, any ideas?"

Grace looks over her shoulder as Jezebel begins to list. As Eve seconds her own personal pick of the lot, the woman grins. "I don't think there could be anything more appropriate than that," she remarks. "We have ourselves a name." The hand with the flashlight makes an expansive gesture, indicating the platform and tunnel behind them.

"This location is hereby designated The Foxhole."

January 2nd: This Kid Needs Help

Previously in this storyline…
Knowledge is Power

Next in this storyline…
Devious Little Duckling

January 2nd: Be Honest
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